State of Democracy and Civic Space in the World - Gwangju Democracy Forum (GDF) 2021

20 May 2021
15:30 (KST) / 08:30 (CEST)

The Gwangju Democracy Forum (GDF) is an annual international meeting that brings together democracy advocates, activists, researchers, and policymakers to discuss and reflect on the state and challenges of democracy at the local, national and global levels as a way to commemorate and practice globally the spirit of May18 Gwangju Democracy movement in1980. 

The GDF 2021 is organized by the May 18 Memorial Foundation, in partnership with international and domestic civil society organizations and public institutions in South Korea with support from the Metropolitan City of Gwangju. An international working group was formed with various key partner organizations prior to the GDF in order to develop common agenda and action plans. The conference is taking place between 17-21 May during Gwangju Democracy Week.

As part of the 2021 Gwangju Democracy Forum, this session on 'State of Democracy and Civic Space'  aims to contribute to strengthening the international solidarity actions and people’s struggle for democracy through common assessment of the state, trends, challenges, and threats to the democratization movement in the world. Providing recommendations and proposals for international solidarity actions.

Main topics and issues to be addressed:


  • Seema Shah, International IDEA
  • Marianna Belalba, CIVICUS
  • Patricia Garcia, Community of Democracies
  • Oli Henman, Action for Sustainable Development
  • Kaustuv Bandyopadhya, Participatory Research in Asia
  • Soo Yon SUH, Asia Democracy Network
  • Myung-lim Park, Yonsei University

Moderated by Anselmo Lee, Adviser to the May 18 Memorial Foundation.


Partner Organizations/collaborators: 
The May 18 Memorial Foundation