Strengthening Democracy in Asia: Inclusion, Participation, and Rights (Delhi, India)

New Delhi, India – Strengthening democracy in Asia is a continuous plight for the Asia Democracy Network (ADN). In collaboration with the World Movement for Democracy and the Institute of Social Sciences, ADN held a two day conference themed “Strengthening Democracy in Asia: Inclusion, Participation, and Rights” at the India International Centre in New Delhi. Approximately 300 activists, advocates, academics, entrepreneurs, and academics  from over 15 countries across the Asian region gathered to discuss the various challenges faced in the plight to further democracy as well as sharing best practices in addressing them. The event also served as a tribute to the historic work of George Fernandes in support of labor rights in India and democracy and human rights in Tibet and Burma.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, gave a compelling talk about democracy, compassion, and universal responsibility during the opening session. Thereafter, nobel peace prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi closed the first day by sharing his journey as a human rights activists in India fighting at the forefront in a global movement to end child slavery and exploitative child labor.

The six panels over the course of two days covered a wide range of aspects in the plight for democracy in Asia, panels on urbanization and the role of local democracy, youth approaches to the democratic process, inclusive economic development and women entrepenuaers. ADN successfully organized two panels on “Resource Extraction, Land Disputes, and Marginalized Communities” and “Right to Information and the Freedom of Expression” respectively. The conference provided an opportunity for ADN to expand regional solidarity to South Asia.

More information on the conference can be found here. 

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[His Holiness the Dalai Lama ]

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[ADN Steering Committee Members]

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[ADN Panel on the Right to Information and the Freedom of Expression]

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[Closing Remarks: Nobel Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi]

DSC_0099[ADN Panel on Resource Extraction, Land Disputes, and Marginalized Communities]