WASHINGTON -- February 25 -- The World Movement for Democracy will convene on April 2-5, 2006 in Istanbul, Turkey, for its Fourth Assembly, "Advancing Democracy: Justice, Pluralism, and Participation."
The Assembly, which will take place at the Lütfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Centre, will bring together more than 400 democracy activists, practitioners, and scholars from over 100 countries for a wide variety of practical workshops focused on meeting regional challenges, addressing various areas of democracy work, and building networks across borders. The workshops will be designed to maximize participation and to produce practical recommendations and initiatives to address the myriad challenges democrats confront worldwide, including developing viable political parties, ensuring free and fair elections, securing workers' rights, combating corruption, instituting economic reforms, increasing women's equal participation in politics, and promoting ethnic and religious reconciliation.
Two Turkish partner organizations-the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV, http://www.tesev.org.tr ) and the Helsinki Citizens Assembly (HCA, http://www.hyd.org.tr ) - are working with the World Movement Secretariat to organize the Assembly.
A highlight of the event will be the presentation of the World Movement's Democracy Courage Tributes at the John B. Hurford Memorial Dinner. Tributes are presented to democracy groups and movements that have demonstrated exceptional courage in their work and have struggled, for the most part, outside the spotlight of world attention.
Initiated in 1999 to "strengthen democracy where it is weak, to reform and invigorate democracy even where it is longstanding, and to bolster pro-democracy groups in countries that have not yet entered into a process of democratic transition," the World Movement is a global network that meets periodically to exchange ideas and experiences and uses new information and communication technologies to foster collaboration among democratic forces around the world. It is led by a distinguished international Steering Committee and the Washington, DC-based National Endowment for Democracy (NED) currently serves as its Secretariat.
More information about the World Movement, including a report on the Third Assembly, which took place in Durban, South Africa, in February 2004, is available on the World Movement Web site (http://www.wmd.org). A Web site for the Fourth Assembly will be available in mid-2005.