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Mizzima: World Democrats assemble i

World Democrats assemble in Brazil to strengthen Democracy worldwide

Sao Paulo (Brazil), November 13, 2000
Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com)

?Modern technology has advanced democracy and instant communications
have provided new opportunities and potential for collaboration among
democrats on a worldwide scale,? said Brazilian President Fernando
Henrique Cardoso. He was delivering a keynote address at the opening
session of the Second Assembly of the ?World Movement for Democracy?
which is being held at Sao Paulo in Brazil from November 12 to 15.

Nearly 500 democracy advocates and activists from more than 80
countries, including Burma, have gathered at the ?Latin American
Parliament and Memorial? in Sao Paulo with the aim to promote and
strengthen democracy movements worldwide. During the four-day assembly
of ?Confronting the Challenges to Democracy in the 21st Century?, the
participants will share their experiences in building democracy,
exchange information on activities in their respective areas of work and
to formulate their next steps in meeting the broad challenges to
democracy in the 21st century.

This is the second time, in less than two years that democrats around
the world are meeting. The First Assembly of the world?s democrats to
launch the ?World Movement for Democracy? was held in New Delhi, India
in February 1999.

The participants of the Second Assembly comprised of political parties,
trade unions, business associations, NGOs, research institutes, civic
education organizations, anti-corruption groups, and democracy-support
foundations, as well as parliamentarians and government officials from
all regions of the world. Four exiled Burmese pro-democracy activists,
including U Bo Hla Tint of the National Coalition Government of the
Union of Burma (NCGUB) are among the participants.

The organizers said that this gathering aims to create a truly global
network of democrats who can take practical steps to advance freedom and
democracy worldwide.

The World Movement for Democracy is a network of democrats to exchange
ideas and experiences and to faster collaboration among democratic
forces around the world. The main organizer of the movement is the
Washington-based National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Some of the world?s leaders, including President of the United States,
Prime Minister of the U.K, His Holiness Dalai Lama, Presidents of Chile,
Taiwan, South Korea, Nigeria and Prime Minister of Australia sent
written and video messages to the Assembly.