The Forum 2000 Conference is attended each year by dozens of luminaries with expertise in developing democracy and respect for human rights throughout the world. This year’s 16th Forum 2000, which will take place from October 21–23 in Prague, focuses on the relationship between democracy and the media and 60 personalities from 28 countries have already accepted our invitation.
Renowned journalists will share their practical experience in the media, among them Vendeline von Bredow from The Economist, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Thai journalist and Chairman of the Southeast Asian media advocacy group, and a Czech journalist and writer Karel Hvížďala. Leaders from various media outlets will also attend. For example, Editor-in-Chief of the weekly India Today Aroon Purie or former Director of Polish public television Bronisław Wildstein will participate.
The academic point of view on the current role of media will be presented by well-known sociologistsZygmunt Bauman and Peter L. Berger, British philosopher Roger Scruton and Israeli political scientist Shlomo Avineri. A number of politicians have also accepted our invitation, including two former presidents Fatmir Sejdiu from Kosovo and Nicéphore Soglo from Benin. Others already committed include Gareth Evans, who served as Australian Foreign Minister from 1988 to 1996, former Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radičová and former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and current opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
President of Freedom Now Jared Genser and one of the key pioneers in online activism David Keyes will represent civil society. Blogger Michael Anti from China and former TV presenter Olga Romanova will engage in the discussions and Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez would like to come to the conference.
In addition, some debates will focus on the role of religion in the context of the main topic, as is an annual custom at the conference. Former Director of the Holy See Press Office Joaquín Navarro-Valls will be among those addressing this issue. In addition to dealing with the relationship between democracy and the media, as Václav Havel personally suggested last year, this year’s conference will also address President Havel’s legacy and therefore many who closely cooperated with him will participate, including Martin Bútora, Human Rights Adviser to President Havel, Karel Schwarzenberg, who was his Chancellor, Canadian writer Paul Wilson, who translated several of his works into English, and Japanese philanthropist Yohei Sasakawa, Co-founder of Forum 2000.