10th Global Assembly, Global Exchange, July 7- 8

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GLOBAL EXCHANGE - Towards Successful Transitions: New Opportunities and Emerging Challenges

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The World Movement for Democracy proudly announces the 2021 Global Exchange, which is the culminating event of the 10th Global Assembly! With the theme “Towards Successful Transitions: New Opportunities and Emerging Challenges,” the World Movement is convening a Global Exchange to:

  • Empower civil society actors to make democratic transitions successful
  • Mobilize global solidarity with those in severely restrictive environments

World Movement Assemblies gather the world’s leading experts on democracy movements, civil society activists, scholars, parliamentarians, thought leaders, journalists, and funders to discuss how we can help democracies thrive and grow. As they have since 1999, our Assemblies allow attendees to exchange practical knowledge and innovative approaches that they can use in their work, network with colleagues, and learn from each other.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to organize in-person gatherings as we had in the past, it did also give us an exciting opportunity to reimagine our Global Assembly. So we held 12 national and regional virtual and hybrid meetings from April through June. The capstone of this series of meetings is the Global Exchange, which has an international audience and will happen on July 7 & 8, 2021.

In the Global Exchange, we will examine topics close to our organization’s mission:

  • Transitions: In recent years many countries have successfully transitioned from unrepresentative forms of government into democracies, yet many of these transitions remain fragile. By exchanging lessons learned, the Global Exchange will help civil society activists develop strategies to overcome challenges and to ensure successful transitions.
  • Solidarity: Solidarity is at the core of what we do. We amplify the voices of democracy activists from many parts of the world and express unflinching support for those under threat. The Global Exchange will provide an important opportunity for democracy activists around the world to express their solidarity with each other collectively.

The following language interpretation services will be provided: Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish.


Day 1 - Towards Successful Democratic Transitions

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

8:00 AM - 12:30 PM EDT


Welcoming Remarks – Jose Ramos Horta, Former President of Timor Leste, Nobel Peace Prize Laurate, Chairman of the World Movement for Democracy’s Steering Committee

Session 1 (Conversation): Role of Youth in Democratic Transition: Building a Democratic Future

Objective: To discuss how young people project and implement their vision for democracy by consolidating democratic gains and strengthening institutions during a critical transition period.

Moderator: Risham Waseem, Maati TV, Pakistan


  • Ruaa Bakri Mohamed Senada, Waey Association, Sudan
  • Anna Bondarenko, Ukrainian Volunteer Center, Ukraine
  • Margarita Maira, Ahora Nos Toca Participar (It’s Our Turn to Participate), Chile

Session 2 (Lightning Talk): Anna Dolidze, Eurasia Democratic Security Network, Georgia

Session 3 (Panel Discussion): 10 Years After the Arab Spring: Tunisia’s Transition to Democracy

Objective: To understand Tunisia’s success and challenges: fostering the post-Arab-Spring political transition and safeguarding freedoms while addressing economic stagnation.

Moderator: Bassma Kodmani, Institute Montaigne, Syria


  • Lobna Jeribi, Solidar Tunisie, Tunisia
  • Ines Jaibi, Tunisian Youth Leaders, Tunisia

Session 4 (Interview): DemocracyTalk with Jose Ramos-Horta, Former President of Timor-Leste & 1996 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy, United States

Session 5 (Panel Discussion): Bringing Democratic Transitions Back on Track

Objective: To explore civil society strategies to overcome the challenges facing current transitions: socio-economic development, corruption, legal/institutional reforms, and malign foreign influence.

Moderator: Sook Jong Lee, Asia Democracy Research Network, South Korea


  • Haykuhi Harutyunyan, Corruption Prevention Commission, Armenia
  • Mauricio Alarcon, Fundacion Ciudadania y Desarrollo, Ecuador
  • Ibrahim Suffian, Merdeka Center, Malaysia

Session 6 (Lightning Talk): Moussa Kondo, Accountability Lab, Mali

Session 7 (Interviews): Protecting Democracy from Backsliding

Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2021 report observed “the 15th consecutive year of decline in global freedom.” During this period, illiberal forces have increasingly limited freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and minority rights, while consolidating their political power. This incremental erosion of democracy has been witnessed even in countries that were once considered consolidated democracies. By bringing together perspectives from leaders in political society, civil society, and independent media, the session will highlight innovative efforts for reversing this negative trend.

Moderator: Larry Diamond, Stanford University, United States


  • Maria Ressa, Rappler, The Philippines
  • Zoltán Kész, Civitas Institute, Hungary
  • Medeni Sungur, Digimar Institute, Turkey

Session 8: Music Performance

Cill, Nigeria

Day 2 - Mobilizing Global Solidarity for Democracy

Thursday, July 8, 2021

8:00 AM - 12:30 PM EDT


  • Welcoming Remarks – Jose Ramos Horta, Former President of Timor Leste, Nobel Peace Prize Laurate, Chairman of the World Movement for Democracy’s Steering Committee

Session 1: DemocracyTalk with Karen Bass, US Congresswoman and Nicholas Opiyo, Chapter Four, Uganda

Session 2: Identifying Opportunities for Building International Solidarity in the Changing Global Political Context

Objective: To understand limitations in today’s global political environment and to identify new opportunities for stronger international solidarity.

Moderator: Anita Vandenbeld, Member of Parliament, Canada


  • Hakima El Haité, Liberal International, Former Minister of Environment, Morocco
  • Conny Reuter, Progressive Alliance, Germany
  • Jose Manuel Ormachea, Citizen Community, Bolivia

Session 3: Understanding and Designing the 21st Century Solidarity

Objective: to understand contemporary strategies for facilitating effective solidarity.

Moderator: Glanis Changachirere, Institute for Young Women Development, Zimbabwe


  • Antoine Bernard, Reporters Without Borders, France
  • Representative from Hong Kong Outlanders
  • Daria Kaleniuk, Anticorruption Action Centre, Ukraine

Session 4: Presentations of Democracy Courage Tributes

Opening Remarks: Ketevan Chachava, Center for Development and Democracy, Georgia

  • Independent Journalists in Middle East
  • Advocates for Democracy in East Turkistan, Hong Kong, and Tibet Working to Build Solidarity and Resilience
  • San Isidro Movement – Cuba’s Artistic Community
  • Pro-Democracy Movement in Burma


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Organizer of 10th Global Assembly, Global Exchange, July 7- 8

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