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While addressing the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Farid Zarif, head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), declared that the country’s democratic future is linked to the successful conduct of the upcoming presidential and legislative elections in October.
Under what conditions will Macedonia be capable of ensuring the independence of the judiciary and media? During a visit to Skopje on Monday, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, called on the Macedonian government to make reforms in key areas, in order to open accession talks by the end of this year.
Hong Kong activists protested ahead of the Chinese President’s visit – dozens of campaigners gathered in front of China’s representative office in Hong Kong to protest against the detention of human rights lawyers on the mainland, while another group sang for democracy in the city centre.
Is strengthening state capacity undermining democratic change in authoritarian regimes? A recent study prepared by V-Dem analyses 460 elections, which took place in 110 authoritarian regimes in the past four decades, with some thought-provoking results.
The strategy brief “Why Democracy Matters”, developed by Freedom House, explores the democratisation process in Kenya. This document argues that civil society should take a leading role in promoting democratic values in the African country, in order to ensure the safety of Kenyan citizens, as well as tackle corruption and poverty.
In an article in openDemocracy, Jason Strakes provides an overview of Georgia’s attempts to build a new civic identity, explaining to what extent the development of this project is influenced by the political interests of the Russian minority in the country.
Between 16-20 August 2017, the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy will organise the “International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in Africa: The Political, Economic and Cultural Dimensions” in Berlin. Additional information about the conference is available here. Registration is possible through this link.
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To what extent will political reforms enable full national reconciliation in Iraq? In the conclusions adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday, the EU underlines the importance of the rule of law for the country’s stability.
Surprisingly perhaps, Morocco again ranks first in this year’s Arab Democracy Index, followed by Tunisia and Jordan – the report developed by the Arab Reform Initiative emphasises the shortcomings of the democratisation process in the region.
In Turkey, prime minister Binali Yildirim urged Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the opposition Republican People’s Party, to put an end to his protest march from Ankara to Istanbul, which began following the arrest of one of the party’s lawmakers.
Has Venezuela ceased to be a democracy? In its latest briefing paper, the International Crisis Group provides an in-depth analysis of the current situation in the South American country, in an attempt to identify the root causes of the ongoing crisis.
Is Bolivia moving towards authoritarianism? Oliver della Costa Stuenkel analyses the country’s democratic development under the leadership of President Evo Morales, and its impact on the region.
A new paper released by the Atlantic Council explores the most pressing issues facing Islam today, focusing on its relationship with democracy, human rights, gender and minority rights, as well as notions of legitimate governance.
On 3 July 2017, the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and United Nations Association Flanders Belgium (VVN) are organising the lunch lecture “Challenges and Opportunities for the UN and the New Secretary-General” at the UN House in Brussles. More information about the event is available here. Registration is possible through this link.
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In Russia, opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been jailed for calling one of the biggest anti-government protests since 2012, as thousands demonstrated in the streets of Moscow and other cities across the country.
To what extent will the release of Pakistani prisoners influence India-Pakistan relations? Following a meeting between the prime ministers of both countries, which took place last week in Astana, the Indian government agreed to release 11 Pakistani prisoners as a gesture of goodwill.
Is freedom of expression under attack in Hungary? The Hungarian parliament approved a series of strict regulations on foreign-funded NGOs, a move which critics described as an attempt to silence independent voices in society.
A report developed by CIVICUS analyses the major events of 2017 related to the activity of CSOs around the world. The report focuses on the phenomenon of shrinking civic space and outlines the benefits of improved cooperation between civil society and the private sector.
In an article originally published in Foreign Affairs, Steven Feldstein, from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, argues that the efforts of the DR Congo’s government to conduct surveillance of the Internet showcases a growing trend among states to increase control over the online sphere.
What does it take to organise a successful constitutional referendum in Sri Lanka? A briefing paper prepared by Democracy Reporting International (DRI) suggests that the island nation needs a secured regulatory framework for the referendum, which would address issues relating to campaign finances and media conduct.
On 5 July 2017, Chatham House is hosting the research event “Ukraine’s Transformation: Assessments and Solutions” in London. Two members of the Ukrainian government, namely Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze (Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration) and Oleksandr Danyliuk (Minister of Finance), are among the speakers invited to this event. More information is available here. Registration is possible through this link.
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What will it take to ensure freedom of expression in Myanmar? Two journalists were arrested for allegedly defaming the military by publishing a satirical story, an act which is considered to be an offence under the country’s telecommunications law.
An anti-corruption protest took place in Slovakia on Monday: thousands of Slovak citizens rallied in the streets of Bratislava, demanding the resignation of the interior minister Robert Kalinak over his alleged ties with a controversial real estate developer, who is under investigation for tax fraud.
In an interview for TIME magazine, Chilean President Michele Bachelet outlined that modernising state institutions, as well as investing in social policies, and opening the spaces for civil society are some of the facts that have contributed to the country’s democratic development.
The National Democratic Institute (NDI) developed the report “Reflect, Reform, Reengage: A Blueprint for 21st Century Parties”, which showcases the fact that political parties should prioritise gender equality, transparency and accountability, within their internal organisation.
Should other South American states be more involved in the Venezuelan crisis? In an article in HuffPost, human rights activist Lilia Tintori argues that the fall of democracy in Venezuela could have a negative impact on the region.
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) released an interim report on the upcoming parliamentary elections in Albania, scheduled for 25 June 2017. The report highlights a lively media environment, which is perceived as politically aligned.
On 21 June 2017, the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) and the World Bank are organising the launch of the “World Development Report 2017: Governance and the Law” (WDR) in Brussels. Registration is possible through this link.
On 15 June 2017, the University of Oxford is hosting Professor Philip Howard’s Inaugural Lecture “Is Social Media Killing Democracy? Computational Propaganda, Algorithms, Automation and Public Life”. Further information about the event can be found here. In order to register, please send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The EU expresses its concerns over the current situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo: In a declaration adopted by the Council on Monday, the EU calls on the DRC authorities to manage the ongoing crisis in the Kasai Province in compliance with the principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In Brazil, a corruption scandal surrounding President Michel Termer sparks protests, as thousands of Brazilians took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, demanding early elections to elect a new head of state.
Is Moldova heading towards a new political crisis? The junior Liberal Party in the pro-European government decided to withdraw from the ruling coalition following the recent arrests of two high-ranking party members.
During the G7 Summit, which took place last week, leaders adopted a roadmap on delivering gender equity through enabling women’s labour force participation, entrepreneurship, and economic empowerment.
To what extent can the UN and international civil society organisations support the right to protest? A report prepared by CIVICUS examines the sustainability of contemporary protest movements, focusing on three case studies: Bahrain, Chile, and Uganda.
A briefing paper developed by the International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and the Legal Prosperity Foundation (LPF) showcases the current situation of civil society and freedom of speech in Kyrgyzstan. The paper contains a number of recommendations, which aim to tackle the country’s most pressing issues related to democracy and human rights.
Can fake news pose a threat to Canada’s democracy? An article in The Globe and Mail showcases Canadians’ fears that the possible breakdown of democratic discourse in several liberal democracies could have a negative impact on their own country.
Between 24-27 August 2017, the University Women of Europe (UWE) is organising its Annual General Meeting under the theme “Changing Cultures”. The event will take place in Graz, Austria. Further information about the event can be found here. Registration is possible through this link.