January 19, 2010- 5p.m. Emerging Leaders for Democracy Roundtable. In the fall of 2009, The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) hosted conferences in Amman, Beirut, and Cairo to examine the political dynamics in the Middle East. Participants sought to develop recommendations for U.S. foreign policy initiatives for encouraging meaningful democratic political reform.
At the event, four emerging leaders working in the Middle East will discuss the recommendations formed at the POMED conferences, as well as their own experiences. These leaders include Mohammad Mahmoud Ahmad Alazraq and David Edward Linfield of Jordan, Karim Bayoud of Lebanon, and Bassem Samir Awad Michael of Egypt. The participants will share their thoughts on issues of political change in the Middle East, with a response fromKenneth Wollack, President of the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
Mortara Center for International for International Studies; 3600 N Street, NW; Washington, D.C. 20057. RSVP by Friday, January 15th, 2010 to email@example.com. Co-Sponsored by Georgetown University’s Center for Democracy & Civil Society and Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.
January 20, 2010- 8:30 to 11:30a.m. Assessing “A New Way Forward”:
One Year of the Obama Administration in the Middle East. In his inaugural address on January 20, 2009, President Barack Obama declared, “To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.” This vision of a “new way forward” became a theme of the Obama administration’s interactions with the Arab and Muslim world during its first year. President Obama further articulated this vision in his major speech in Cairo, in which he identified seven major challenges that the U.S. and the Muslim world must confront together: violent extremism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, nuclear nonproliferation, democracy, women’s rights, religious freedom, and economic development. Now, on the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration, we gather to assess the Obama administration’s first year and to examine further opportunities for the administration to implement its vision of a new beginning with the Arab and Muslim world.
The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and Georgetown University’s Center for Democracy and Civil Society. United States Capitol Visitor’s Center: Room SVC 203. RSVP here or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010- 12 noon to 2p.m. Breaking the Resource Curse: Freedom of Information in Sierra Leone. In his presentation, Sierra Leonean human rights lawyer Mr. Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai will consider how the ongoing campaign for a Freedom of Information (FOI) law can help ensure that oil does not become yet another “resource curse” in Sierra Leone. Drawing upon his extensive experience as a leading FOI advocate, Mr. Abdulai will show how such a mechanism could increase transparency and empower the people of Sierra Leone to demand answers from the country’s leadership. His presentation will be followed by comments by Dr. Sahr J. Kpundeh.
In 2009, oil was discovered in Sierra Leone, adding to the vast array of natural resources contained in this tiny West African state. Paradoxically, this discovery holds no prospect of prosperity for the population: without prompt action to increase transparency, the people of Sierra Leone will only continue under the burden of the “resource curse,” steeped in abject poverty and under renewed threat of civil conflict.
National Endowment for Democracy: 1025 F Street NW; Suite 800; Washington, DC 20004. RSVP with name and affiliation by Monday, January 18 by email to email@example.com.
Thursday, January 21, 2010- 11a.m. to 12:30p.m. Moderating Extremism: Lebanese Leaders’ Perspective. The Middle East Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center and
The Institute for Inclusive Security present a panel discussion with Elissar Douaihy, Training and Mobilization Coordinator, Women Empowerment: Peaceful Action for Security and Stability (WEPASS), Beirut; May Akl, Foreign Press Secretary for MP and former Prime Minister Michel Aoun, Beirut; Lamia Osseiran, Vice President, Lebanese Council of Women, Beirut; Dima Dabbous-Sensenig, Director, Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World, Lebanese American University, Beirut; Claudia Chamoun Abi Nader, Professor, Military Academy, Fayadieh; and Wafa Abed, President, Institute of Progressive Women Union, Beirut. The discussion will be moderated by Carla Koppell, Director, Institute for Inclusive Security.
The Woodrow Wilson Center: Ronald Regan Building; 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW; 5th Floor Conference Room; Washington, DC 20004. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 202-691-4184 with your name, title, affiliation, & email.
January 21, 2010. Democracy’s Past and Future, featuring Francis Fukuyama, Ivan Krastev, Larry Diamond, and Marc F. Plattner moderated by Moisés Naím.
The twenty years since the Journal of Democracy was launched in January 1990 have witnessed extraordinary democratic advances-and some setbacks as well. The new January 2010 issue reflects back on this remarkable period but also looks at the challenges confronting democracy in the years ahead. The Journal’s coeditors and two other contributors to the issue will discuss various aspects of “Democracy’s Past and Future,” including transitions to the rule of law, postcommunism and its discontents, the absence of democracy in the Arab world, and the resilience of democracy.
4:00 p.m. Reception to follow at 6:00 p.m. National Endowment for Democracy, 1025 F Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. RSVP (acceptances only) with name and affiliation by Tuesday, January 19 by email to email@example.com or by phone to (202) 378-9675. Larry Diamond is coeditor of the Journal of Democracy, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and director of Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law; Francis Fukuyama is Bernard Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is currently working on a book on political development; Ivan Krastevis chairman and program director of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Bulgaria. His most recent book, coedited with Alan McPherson, is The Anti-American Century (2007); Moisés Naím (moderator)is editor and publisher of Foreign Policy and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy; Marc F. Plattner is coeditor of the Journal of Democracy, director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies, and vice-president at the National Endowment for Democracy.
Thursday, January 28, 2010- 12 noon to 2p.m. The Backlash Against Election Monitors:
How the Profession Can Respond. In his presentation, election monitor Peter Novotny will draw on his extensive experience in Eurasia to examine current developments in domestic and international election observation, monitoring methods and practices, and the complex challenges observers face in a changing international environment. His presentation will be followed by comments by Patrick Merloe of the National Democratic Institute for International affairs.
The post-Soviet “color revolutions,” in which exit polling and election observation played key roles, have given rise to an authoritarian backlash against domestic and international election monitors. As repressive regimes have sought to counter the tide of democratization, they have increasingly obstructed election observers through intimidation, deregistering their organizations, and denying them accreditation, among other punitive actions.
National Endowment for Democracy: 1025 F Street NW; Suite 800; Washington, DC 20004. RSVP with name and affiliation by Tuesday, January 26 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.