Last year was challenging for democracy, human rights, and the global liberal order. But it was also a year of great hope as democrats around the world started to retake the initiative. Building on this momentum, we are working on the 27th Forum 2000 Conference that will be held on October 15–17, 2023. Stay tuned for updates!
February 24th marked the first year of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. Over the past twelve months, great effort has been made to support the Ukrainians, condemn the aggression, analyze its impact and its consequences, and search for ways to build a strong global democratic alliance to stand up to authoritarianism. Here we present a summary that will allow you to reflect, review ideas and approaches, and relive important moments in our in-person and online meetings.
Forum 2000, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights issued the policy brief “Kleptocracy: Its Global Impact on Markets and Democracy”. The negative impact of kleptocracy on democracy cannot be overstated. It undermines the foundations of democratic governance. The link between kleptocracy and Russian influence in the West is a prime example of the dangers posed by this phenomenon.
The Ortega-Murillo regime banished democrats and stripped Nicaraguan nationality from critical voices. This is an unacceptable violation of human rights and a clear form of repression and intimidation. On February 17, 2023, Forum 2000 and Democratic Solidarity strongly condemned the abusive decision of the dictatorship and called for action and international solidarity.
#Forum2000online: Kleptocracy and protests in Latin America
In this month’s #Forum2000online chats:
The study of kleptocracy as a global phenomenon typically focuses on individuals who steal money from the state for personal gain. John Zemko and Andréa Ngombet joined Jessica Ludwig, Director of Freedom and Democracy at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, USA, to look at a broader issue of kleptocratic behavior. John Zemko is the Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) in Washington, D.C. Andréa Ngombet is the founder of the Sassoufit Collective, a Paris-based organization advocating for democracy, human rights, and anti-corruption in the Republic of the Congo and elsewhere in Africa.
“The right to protest is not an absolute right. You’re not allowed to do whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want, but the state should allow you to exercise that right peacefully and provide the conditions for that to happen”, says Tamara Taraciuk Broner in this episode with Hernán Alberro. Ms. Taraciuk is the Acting Director of the Americas Division at Human Rights Watch, USA. Mr. Alberro is an Associate Fellow at the Forum 2000. What do the protests in Latin America show us about the tensions between the right to demonstrate and the democratic order? How are the authorities responding?
Forum 2000 and a significant number of ICDR members supported “The Iranian Struggle for Freedom: A Call for Global Solidarity”, an initiative launched and promoted on February 1st, 2023, by Freedom House along with several co-sponsors. Signatories to this call include members of our network such as Shirin Ebadi, Francis Fukuyama, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Svetlana Alexievich, Michael Ignatieff, and Timothy Snyder, among others. We call upon all people of good will to help raise public awareness of the situation in Iran.
Forum 2000 ICDR member Mario Vargas Llosa joins Académie Française
Mario Vargas Llosa, considered among the most influential Latin American writers and public intellectuals, has been chosen to join the Académie Française (French Academy). He will occupy armchair number 18, previously held by Michel Serres. Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010 and has been a prominent champion of democracy and human rights. We express our warmest congratulations to Mario Vargas Llosa for this important recognition.
The Forum 2000 editor’s pick
A selection of essential articles, opinions and ideas from the Forum 2000 network.
Interviews and portraits of Leyla and Aris Yunus and Yevgeny Zhovtis | Memory of Nations | During the Forum 2000 Conference last year, interviews were filmed as part of the nascent Memory and Conscience of Nations project, which focuses on human rights defenders and political prisoners around the world. Thanks to this, you can now listen to interviews with ICDR members Leyla Yunus, Arif Yunus and Yevgeniy Zhovtis.
Now is not the time to let up on Nicaragua’s Ortega regime | George W. Bush Presidential Center | Jessica Ludwig discusses the recent release of more than 200 political prisoners in Nicaragua and what the United States and the international community must do moving forward.
Dissent and Persecution in Russia: From Father Edelstein to Vladimir Kara-Murza | National Endowment for Democracy (NED) | The event featured opening remarks from Evgenia Kara-Murza and a panel discussion moderated by NED’s President and CEO Damon Wilson. It included President and Founder of the Free Russia Foundation Natalia Arno, President of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, and President and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Jamie Fly.
The views expressed in these works are the responsibility of its authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forum 2000 Foundation or its staff.