The conference, founded by Vaclav Havel (pictured) is being held under the theme “For a Democratic World Order”. Credit: Forum 2000.

Forum 2000 Democracy Conference Starts In Prague

The 27th Forum 2000 international conference started in Prague yesterday, this year dedicated to the need for democratic countries to take the initiative in the face of the growth of authoritarianism. The three-day conference includes nearly 50 discussions and workshops.

Today, the speakers will include Czech President Petr Pavel and Moldovan President Maia Sandu. Yesterday’s opening night at the Prague Congress Center featured Stanford University professor Larry Diamond and Iranian composer Shahab Tolouie, moderated by Azerbaijani journalist Arzu Geybullayeva.

The conference is being held under the theme “For Democratic World Order”, and runs until Tuesday.

“The main topic of the discussions will be the search for ways for democracies to face common challenges in the context of the global growth of authoritarianism, as well as how to strengthen mutual cooperation in the most effective way,” said Filip Sebek of the Forum 2000 Foundation. This year’s programme, he noted, includes nearly 50 discussions and workshops, which will include topics such as global security, the influence of Russia and China in Africa, local extremism and the impact of the latest technologies on the functioning of democracy.

According to Sebek, some space will also be devoted to the situation in Ukraine. “In this context, the second Forum for Ukraine will be held in cooperation with the Czech Foreign Ministry, which will deal with the post-war future of Ukraine in the heart of the European and world democratic community,” Sebek said.

Today, Pavel and Sandu will deliver speeches at the conference along with Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky (Pirates). According to Sebek, guests will also include Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, chairwoman of the Ukrainian parliamentary committee on EU integration, and Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, a Belarusian sprinter and critic of President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.

The conference was founded in 1997 by Czech president Vaclav Havel, writer Elie Wiesel and Japanese philanthropist Yohei Sasakawa. The intention of the founders was to provide a space for personalities from various fields to analyse the challenges of the new millennium. The entire event can be watched free of charge online on the Forum 2000 Foundation website. The programme will be in English.