STOCKHOLM—Mr Kofi Annan, Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation and former United Nations Secretary-General, will give a keynote address as part of International IDEA’s 20th anniversary celebration in Stockholm, Sweden, on 16 September. The celebration will highlight International IDEA’s achievements in the past 20 years as well as prospects for continued action.
The event will be co-hosted by the Speaker of Swedish Parliament Urban Ahlin and Secretary-General of International IDEA Yves Leterme, who will give the welcome remarks. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and other ministers and dignitaries from around the world will participate in the anniversary event.
Regional achievements and challenges to democracy on the global landscape will be discussed in a panel that includes Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Minister José Antonio Dias Toffoli, president of the Superior Electoral Court of Brazil, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, former Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Dr Brigalia Bam, former chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa, Mr Hesham Youssef, assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Minister Wallström.
Mr Leterme will present an overview of how the organization is upholding its strategy toward supporting democratic institutions and processes, and continues its service among citizens and public authorities at all levels in today’s challenging environment.
“Democracy does not have a completion date”, said Mr Leterme, “I take the opportunity to reaffirm International IDEA’s mission to support democracy at a global level and to call for transparency as well as for citizen engagement. For as long as people are eager to question how political parties are funded and operated, to seek trainings to hold fair and safe elections, to create sound constitutions, and to participate in their government affairs, International IDEA will continue to support democracy and go where invited”.
International IDEA has announced Gillian Miswardi as the winner of International IDEA’s 20th Anniversary essay competition. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria will hand over a prize to Ms Miswardi for her winning submission, “Does representative democracy have a future in this era of digital media?” during the anniversary event. Her award includes an internship at International IDEA, where she can further her research efforts and hands-on experience.
Members of the press in attendance must be accredited. A Press invitation is available in Swedish.