News and Notes

Issue Date April 2005
Volume 16
Issue 2
Page Numbers 185-88
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Jan Nowak (1913–2005)

Jan Nowak-Jeziorański was a dedicated democracy advocate and one of Poland’s most honored freedom fighters. During World War II, Nowak (born Zdzisław Jeziorański; Jan Nowak was a wartime pseudonym) became known as the “Courier from Warsaw,” serving as an emissary carrying news and information of Nazi atrocities between the commanders of the Home Army and the Polish Government-in-Exile in London. In 1944, he participated in the Warsaw Uprising.

After the war, Nowak founded and led the Polish Service at Radio Free Europe, turning it into the main source of outside news for Poles under communism despite the Soviet Union’s efforts to jam the station’s signal. Upon his retirement from Radio Free Europe in 1976, Nowak moved to the United States, where he served as a consultant to the National Security Council under presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. In the 1980s, he played a crucial role in helping to solidify U.S. support for the Polish Solidarity movement and other prodemocracy groups, serving as an informal advisor to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Jan Nowak-Jeziorański was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996 and the NED’s Democracy Service Medal in 2002. He was the author of many books, including 63 Days: The Story of the Warsaw Rising (1945) and Courier from Warsaw (1982). He had returned to live in Poland in 2002 and passed away in Warsaw on 20 February 2005.

Meeting in Bratislava

A conference entitled “A New Quest for Democracy: Shaping an Agenda for the Euro-Atlantic Community” was held on February 23 in Bratislava just before the meeting there of presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin. Organized by the Slovak Foreign Policy Association [End Page 185] and the Institute for Public Affairs in cooperation with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the meeting brought together democracy activists, analysts, and policy makers from Central and Eastern Europe, leading experts from the United States and Western Europe, as well as representatives of international organizations and leaders of opposition movements in Belarus and Moldova.

Speakers included Slovak prime minister Mikulá¡s Dzurinda; former Slovak ambassador to the United States Martin Butora; NED president Carl Gershman (whose speech is available at; Ivan Krastev, Centre for Liberal Strategies (Bulgaria); and Jacques Rupnik, Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (France). The topics of the four panel discussions were: “The Slovak Path to Democracy and Euro-Atlantic Integration,” “The Recent Wave of Democratic Change,” “The Future of Democracy in Wider Europe,” and “A New Democracy Agenda for the Euro-Atlantic Community.” For more information on the conference, see and

Human Rights Experts Meet in Seoul

On February 14–16, human rights experts from Korea, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Macedonia, the Czech Republic, and Poland gathered in Seoul for the 6th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees, organized by the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights. Keynote speeches were delivered by Andrzej Rzepliński of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in North Korea and by Choong-Hyun Paik of the Korean Society for Human Rights Law. Former president of the Czech Republic Václav Havel and speaker of Korea’s National Assembly Kwan-Yong Park affirmed their support for the conference via written messages. The conference resulted in a resolution calling for North Korea and the People’s Republic of China to abide by international agreements on human rights and refugees. The full text of the resolution is available at

NDI Democracy Awards

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) celebrated its 20th anniversary by “paying tribute to an era of democratic transformation through the eyes of those from different regions of the world who experienced its struggles and successes.” On December 6, it presented its annual W. Averell Harriman Democracy Awards to individuals who have contributed to the cause of democracy and human rights around the world. Recipients were President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, President Xanana Gusm~ao of East Timor, Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania of Georgia, former president Corazon Aquino of the Philippines, Interior Minister José Miguel Insulza of Chile, Human Rights Minister Amat Al-Aleem Alsoswa of Yemen, former foreign minister of Poland Bronisław [End Page 186] Geremek, and U.S. senators Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) and Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-Del.). The awards were presented by NDI chairman and former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright. NDI president Kenneth Wollack gave the opening remarks. Transcripts of all speeches are available at

IFES Launches New Magazine

IFES (formerly the International Foundation for Election Systems) has launched democracy at large, a new quarterly magazine designed specifically for professionals interested in democratic development worldwide. The magazine aims to “inform the debate about democracy aid and foster dialogue between practitioners, scholars, and grassroots stakeholders.” The theme of the first issue, published in late 2004, was Islam and democracy; the February 2005 issue focused on political corruption in postcommunist countries. Both are available in full text at

Burmese Democracy and Human Rights

On February 26–27, the U.S. Campaign for Burma organized its second annual conference, entitled “Burma, Realizing the Dream,” in Washington, D.C. Keynote speakers were Paula J. Dobriansky, U.S. undersecretary of state for global affairs, and Sein Win, prime minister of the national coalition government of the Union of Burma. Other speakers included members of the U.S. Congress, representatives of human rights organizations, and Burmese dissidents in exile. For more information, see

On February 25, the NED held a reception in honor of one of the conference participants, 23-year-old Charm Tong, who is one of four recipients of this year’s Reebok Human Rights Award. A Burmese refugee in Thailand, Charm Tong has from an early age worked to improve the situation of the Shan ethnic minority in Burma.To learn more about Charm Tong and the Reebok Human Rights Award, visit

Report on NED’s International Forum

On January 13, the Journal of Democracy marked its 15th anniversary with a reception and panel discussion on “Building Democracy After Conflict,” drawing on the cluster of articles on that topic featured in the January 2005 issue. Held at the George Washington University, the panel was introduced by Harry Harding, dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs, and moderated by Journal of Democracy coeditor Marc F. Plattner. Panelists were Larry Diamond, coeditor of the Journal and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution; Larry Goodson, Dwight D. Eisenhower Chair in National Security Studies at the U.S. Army War College; Gerald Knaus, [End Page 187] president of the European Stability Initiative; and Francis Fukuyama, Bernard Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

In March, the Johns Hopkins University Press published World Religions and Democracy, a Journal of Democracy book edited by Larry Diamond, Marc F. Plattner, and Philip J. Costopoulos. To celebrate its publication, a discussion and reception were scheduled for March 16. Details will be reported in our next issue.

A number of Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows in residence at the Forum gave luncheon presentations as described below:

On January 11, Abiodun Kolawole and Akintola Olaniyan spoke on “Nigeria at a Crossroads: Perspectives on Civil Society and the Media.” Kolawole is a research officer at the Center for Constitutionalism and Demilitarization in Lagos and founding member of United Action for Democracy, a coalition of Nigerian prodemocracy groups. Olaniyan is former deputy editor of the Nigerian daily Punch and a member of the Lagos-based NGO Journalists for Democratic Rights.

On January 19, Dragan Djuric discussed “Prospects for Democracy and European Integration in Monte-negro.” Djuric is Montenegro’s assistant minister for European Integration at the Ministry for International Economic Relations and European Integration.

On January 27, Chechen foreign minister Ilyas Akhmadov gave a presentation entitled “Chechnya’s Struggle for Independence,” addressing how international organizations, civil society, and the media could facilitate a peaceful settlement to Chechnya’s conflict with Russia and a democratic future for the region. Charles H. Fairbanks, Jr., director of the Central Asia–Caucasus Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and Miriam Lanskoy, NED program officer for Central Asia and the Caucasus, commented on the presentation.

On February 3, Yulia Savchenko spoke on “Reinventing Democracy through Civic Journalism in Kyr-gyzstan,” with comments by Marvin Kalb, former director of Harvard University’s Joan Shor-enstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy. Savchenko is a journalist who hosts a talk show in Kyrgyzstan featuring discussions of political and social issues.

On February 11, Chingiz Mam-madov gave a presentation entitled “Democracy in Azerbaijan: Crazy Idea or Realistic Possibility?” with comments provided by Fiona Hill, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Mammadov, who served as the chief of media relations to the president of Azerbaijan in 1992–93, presented recommendations for the development of democracy in Azerbaijan.

Seven new Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows arrived in March and April: Fatimakhon Ahmedova (Tajikistan), Andrew Finkel (U.S./Turkey), Raúl Gangotena (Ecuador), Jiao Guobiao (China), Young Howard (South Korea), Robert Britt Mattes (U.S./South Africa), and Roland Rich (Australia).


Copyright © 2005 National Endowment for Democracy and Johns Hopkins University Press