News and Notes

Issue Date October 2019
Volume 30
Issue 4
Page Numbers 185-186
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Estoril Political Forum

On June 24–26, the Institute of Political Studies of the Portuguese Catholic University (IEPUCP) hosted the 27th annual Estoril Political Forum in association with a number of partner organizations, including the National Endowment for Democracy’s International Forum, the Europaeum, and the Forum 2000 Foundation. The conference was entitled “The Transatlantic Alliance: Seventy-five Years After D-Day, Seventy Years After the Founding of NATO, Thirty Years After Tiananmen, and Thirty Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall.”

Speakers at the conference included former Portuguese prime minister and president of the EU commission José Manuel Barroso (by video); Ivan Krastev, chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies (Sofia); Kurt Volker, executive director of the McCain Institute and former US ambassador to NATO; Ghia Nodia, director of the International School of Caucus Studies; Miriam Lexmann, recently elected EU parliamentarian; and Wilhelm Hofmeister, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

The conference also featured the Ralf Dahrendorf Memorial Lecture, delivered by Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution.

Ethiopia: From Autocracy to Democracy Conference

On June 19–20, the Peace and Development Center in Addis Ababa, in collaboration with the NED, hosted a conference on “Ethiopia: From Autocracy to Democracy.” Its objective was to advance the country’s democratic transition by increasing communication and cooperation among Ethiopian governmental, political, and civil society leaders, as well as with international donors. Participants from abroad included diplomats, donor representatives, and academic experts. [End Page 185]

The conference featured panels on the upcoming elections, governance challenges, media development, and civil society. Keynote addresses were delivered by Professor Ephraim Isaac of the Peace and Development Center and Carl Gershman.

International Press Freedom Award

On June 5, the International Press Institute gave its World Press Freedom Hero award to Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida of Dawn. The award is given annually to journalists who have fought to promote press freedom. Almeida, who is known for his unsparing reporting on the Pakistani military, is currently facing treason charges for his coverage of links between the military and militant groups.

Almeida remarked, “I am grateful to the . . . jury for its acknowledgment of the fight to preserve and protect media freedom in Pakistan. What has been inflicted on Dawn and me is one strand of a wider, systemic repression of the media in Pakistan.”

Exporting Repression Technology

On September 17, the Open Technology Fund, in partnership with NED’s Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), hosted an event entitled “Surveillance for Sale: How China and Russia Export Repression Technology.” Speakers included Natalia Arno, president of the Free Russia Foundation; Ron Deibert, director of Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto; David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression; and Valentin Weber, information-controls fellow at the Open Technology Fund. Laura Cunningham, principal director of the Open Technology Fund, moderated, and opening remarks were delivered by CIMA’s Daniel O’Maley.

NED’s International Forum

On July 10, the International Forum hosted an event featuring Reagan-Fascell Democracy fellow Elsa Marie D’Silva (India), founder and CEO of the Red Dot Foundation. D’Silva delivered a presentation entitled, “Creating a Resilient and Inclusive Democracy in India.” Ambassador Melanne Verveer, executive director of the Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace, and Security, offered comments and Zerxes Spencer of NED moderated.

The Forum’s “Power 3.0” podcast featured an interview with Samantha Hoffman on “China’s Technology-Enhanced Authoritarianism.” [End Page 186]