Emerging Democracies Forum Preparations Reach Final Stages [Archives:1999/25/Law & Diplomacy]

June 21 1999

Former Bolivian President Sanchez de Lozada has confirmed his participation as the Co-chairman of the conference, along with the former Prime Minister of Canada, Kim Campbell. Together, some 130 of the delegates have confirmed that they will take part in the Forum. Former Guatemalan President Ramiro de Leon Carpio, who has also served as his country’s Human Rights Ombudsman, has also confirmed that he will be attending. 
“We have some 6 or 7 current and former presidents and prime ministers attending,” confirmed NDI Field Representative in Yemen, Derek Butler, “not to mention a diverse array of key decision makers from among the other participating delegates. Mr. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, who hails from a German political party institute, now working in Yemen, has joined the list, which already includes the UNDP, the World Bank, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Irish Aid, and the governments of Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. There may still be more. This is remarkable, and is very good news for Yemen! We have friends who care about what happens here, and who want to support us” Ms. Dwyer said. 
On another level, the Yemeni government continues to play the role of the host, and is coordinating closely with NDI. They will ensure security, protocol, and hospitality. They will also help arrange bilateral meetings for the experts and observers who wish to meet Yemeni ministers and take advantage of this time. 
Mr. Butler added, “The objectives of the conference are to provide a forum to analyze and address both the achievements and obstacles to political and economic reform, and to encourage an ongoing commitment to the process these countries are engaged in. We recognize,” he said, “that not every thing is perfect in all of these countries, but if we can give the process of reform some momentum, we will have succeeded. The important thing is to try.” 
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