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WFDA Third Biennial Meeting to be held in Seoul

Event: Third Biennial Conference of the World Forum for Democratization in Asia (WFDA)
Time: 16-18 September 2009, 9:00am -6:00pm
Location: Best Western Premier Seoul Garden Hotel
(#169-1, Dohwa-Dong, Mapo-Gu, Seoul, South Korea)

WFDA Third Biennial Meeting to be held in Seoul

The World Forum for Democratization in Asia (WFDA) is holding its third Biennial Meeting from 16-18 September 2009, in Seoul, South Korea. The theme of the conference is "Sustaining Democratization in Asia: Challenges of Economic and Social Justice."

The conference is organized jointly by the WFDA Steering Committee, which comprises six regional democracy promotion organizations: Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia (ARDA), Alternative Asean Network on Burma (ALTSEAN), Asian Focal Point for the International Civil Society Forum for Democracy (AFP/ICSFD), Forum Asia Democracy (FAD), Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), and the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD). It is hosted in Korea by a consortium of eight leading Korean academic institutes chaired by the Democracy and Social Movements Institute of Sungkonghoe University. The conference is sponsored by the TFD, the Tifa Foundation of Indonesia, the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit of Germany, May 18 Memorial Foundation of Korea, the Korea Democracy Foundation, and the National Human Rights Commission of Republic of Korea.

The WFDA Biennial is the largest regular gathering of Asian democrats. The first Biennial was held in Taipei, Taiwan in September 2005, and the second was held in Manila, Philippines in September 2007. At this year's Biennial, nearly 150 international delegates representing civil society and political organizations from over 20 Asian countries will participate, together with dozens of leading Korean scholars and civil society figures.

The conference will be opened with video greetings from H.E. Jose Ramos-Horta, President of the Republic of Timor-Leste and H.E. Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia followed by a special tribute to the late Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Corazon Aquino, both of whom recently passed away. The tribute for President Kim will be delivered by Prof. Sung-jae Kim, the Director of the Kim Dae-Jung Presidential Library and Museum.

On the third day of the conference (18 September), the keynote speech will be given by Dr. Kyoungseo Park, former Ambassador-at-large for Human Rights of the Republic of Korea. The conference will adopt two major documents: first, the Seoul Declaration, which will express the consensus of WFDA on the relationship between democracy and economic and social justice; second, the WFDA Framework for Action, which will guide the work of the network from 2009 to 2011. The conference will conclude with a ceremony at Hagyesa Buddhist Temple, symbolizing the desire of all Asians for democracy and peace.

We hope that this meeting will give a strong encouragement to democrats in all parts of Asia, which is very much needed at this time, after recent setbacks in some Asian countries, as well as rising confidence and assertiveness of non-democratic countries.

Further conference information and latest updates are available on the conference website:

Media Contacts
Seoul: Mr. Tedards, (+82-(0)10-8061-4203)
Taipei: Ms. Tsai, TFD (+886-2-2708-0100, ext. 112)

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