News and Notes

Issue Date July 1993
Volume 4
Issue 3
Page Numbers 140-41
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Singapore Conference Looks at Capitalism & Democracy

Policy makers and academics from Asia and the United States gathered in Singapore on 28-30 January 1993 for a conference entitled “Asian and American Perspectives on Capitalism and Democracy.” Cosponsored by the Asia Society (U.S.), the Institute of Policy Studies (Singapore), the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore), and the Singapore International Foundation, the conference explored regional differences on issues of capitalist and democratic development and discussed their implications for future U.S.-Asian relations.

Each session included two speakers, one offering an American perspective and the other an Asian perspective; open discussion then followed. The conference began by looking at the relationship between economic development and the state, and then turned to examining the development of democratic institutions, including human rights and freedom of the press.

The conference was co-chaired by Tommy Koh of Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Robert Scalapino of the University of California at Berkeley. A final report will be published by the Asia Society.

NED Holds Fourth World Conference

Participants from some 60 countries gathered in Washington on April 26-27 for the National Endowment for Democracy’s Fourth World Conference, devoted to the theme of “Challenges to Democracy in the New Era.” After opening remarks by the Dalai Lama, attendees took part in a series of five panel discussions that brought together scholars, activists, public officials, and journalists to talk about the post-Cold War fortunes of democracy in, respectively, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, and the former USSR. A sixth panel addressed the struggle for freedom under the harsh dictatorial [End Page 140] conditions in Cuba, Vietnam, Burma, China, and Iraq. Speakers on the six panels included Liu Binyan of China, José Zalaquett of Chile, Sadikou Alao of Benin, Kanan Makiya of Iraq, and Lithuania’ s former president Vytautas Landsbergis.

The conference’s concluding luncheon featured addresses by U.S. congressman Steny Hoyer and Polish parliamentary leader Bronislaw Geremek. A version of the latter’s remarks appears in this issue on pp. 100-105 above, followed by essays based on talks by Galina Starovoitova (Russia) and Serhiy Holovaty (Ukraine). The complete conference proceedings will be published by the Endowment later this year.

Following the conference, the Endowment hosted a reception and banquet at which it presented its Democracy Award to journalist Gitobu Imanyara of Kenya, human rights activist Vesna Pešić of Serbia, and labor leader Han Dongfang of China. President Bill Clinton spoke at the reception, endorsing the Endowment’s work and congratulating the awardees, whose acceptance speeches are excerpted in this issue on pp. 134-37 above.

Civil Society in Africa

On March 15-17, Senegal’s Gorée Institute hosted a three-day workshop on “Civil Society and Democracy in Africa” at its facilities on Gorée island. Sixty representatives from African and Maghreb countries attended, as did several political scientists from other regions, including Naomi Chazan and Larry Diamond.

The conference included nine African case studies as well as presentations on China, the Philippines, and Thailand. The participants, who represented a variety of backgrounds and views, considered strategies for enhancing the independence and vibrancy of civil society.

The event was part of a larger Gorée Institute project aimed at creating an educational and training program on civil society for individuals and organizations. Two more workshops are planned for 1993. For further information, contact: Andre Zaaiman, the Gorée Institute, La Maison du Soudan, Gorée, Senegal; or phone 221-21-70-81; or fax 221-22-54-76.

Leo Labedz (1920-1993)

We are saddened to note the passing of Leopold Labedz, former editor of Survey and a founding member of the editorial board of the Journal of Democracy, who died recently in London.

One of the world’s leading authorities on communist regimes, Labedz was also well known for his vigorous defense of democratic values. A memorial meeting in his honor was held on Tuesday, June 15, at the Washington, D.C., office of Freedom House. We hope to publish excerpts of the tributes presented at this meeting in a subsequent issue. [End Page 141]


Copyright © 1993 National Endowment for Democracy and the Johns Hopkins University Press