European, African officials, UN, OSCE reps to attend Future of Democracy Forum in Vilnius

  • 2023-11-09
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Vilnius is hosting a Future of Democracy Forum, organized by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry and the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University, which will be attended by officials from European and African countries as well as representatives of international organizations.

They include Belarusian opposition activist Sviatlana Tsichanouskaya, Daw Zin Mar Aung, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government of Myanmar, Jan Lipavsky, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, and Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release on Thursday.

The event will also be attended by special rapporteurs of the United Nations, representatives of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and prominent democracy advocates.

Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, who is visiting Vilnius, will also attend the forum.

Participants are expected to come from nearly fifty countries representing different regions of the world. The Forum will also be joined by a dozen participants of the World Liberty Congress, which took place in Vilnius just before the Future of Democracy Forum and which brought together over 300 democracy activists this year.

The Forum will be held under the international Chatham House Rule.

"Today we are living in a period of many parallel crises. The war in Ukraine, the violence in the Middle East, the tensions in the South Caucasus or in the Indo-Pacific region. In such dynamic circumstances, we must not lose sight of the need to preserve and further develop democracy as the most precious and important part of our political heritage," Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said.

"Lithuania has a reputation as a haven for democratic forces. This is the foundation on which our own nation is built. These are the values we believe in and are committed to. That is why building a united community of democracies, mobilizing and coordinating our actions is more important than ever," he added.

The Forum will discuss how to empower democracy activists, human rights defenders and independent journalists, both inside and outside their own countries, and how to protect them from repression by authoritarian regimes.