Norwegian Helsinki Committee 35th Anniversary Seminar
Democracy challenged – How to counter erosion of democratic rule?
Time: 23 October 09:00-15:30
Place: Hotel Bristol, the Maud Hall, Kristian IV's gate 7
The Arab spring of 2011-2012 represents the most significant challenge to authoritarian rule since the collapse of Soviet communism. Yet there is a continued pattern of global democratic backsliding, including rigging of elections, limited press freedom, undermining of rule of law, and restrictions for civil society. Both the collapse of Soviet communism and the Arabic spring have shown that even though popular protest might be the end of an authoritarian regime, it is not necessarily the beginning of democracy.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee devotes its 35th Anniversary Seminar to discussing ways to overcome the democratic backsliding, in particular in European and former Soviet countries.
09:30 Welcome, Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General, Norwegian Helsinki Committee
09:40 “Challenges to democracy”, Espen Barth Eide, Norwegian Foreign Minister
10:10 “The challenge of authoritarian capitalism”, Erik Solheim, former Norwegian Minister
10:30 “The current state of “managed democracy” in the Russian Federation: How kremlin
gets the elections results it wants”, Grigory Melkonyants, Deputy Director, Golos Association
11:00 Coffee break
11:15 “Russia’s Opposition: who are they, how strong are they, and what do they want to
achieve”? Regina Smyth, Associate Professor, Indiana University
11:45 “Undermining democracy in Hungary: Viktor Orbán’s constitutional revolution”,
András Kádár, Co-chair, Hungarian Helsinki Committee
12:15 Panel discussion with speakers. Moderator: Bjørn Engesland
13:45 “How to revive Helsinki Principles on democracy and human rights?” Evgeny Zhovtis, Kazakhstan, 2010 Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award laureate
14:15 Students from the NHC education programs: How to foster a youth culture for
democracy in education, political parties, mass media, and in post-conflict
situations? Adam Bialiatski, Belarus; Elma Oručević, Bosnia and Hercegovina; Morten
14:30 “Strategies for strengthening democracy: the role of civil society”, Gunnar M.
Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General, Norwegian Helsinki Committee
14:45 Panel discussion with speakers. Moderator: Brigitte Dufour, Director, International
Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR)
15:30 End of seminar
Register to firstname.lastname@example.org before 19 October