A Call to Defend Democracy (open statement)


A Call to Defend Democracy

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens more than the lives and the livelihoods of people throughout the world.  It is also a political crisis that threatens the future of liberal democracy.

Authoritarian regimes, not surprisingly, are using the crisis to silence critics and tighten their political grip.  But even some democratically elected governments are fighting the pandemic by amassing emergency powers that restrict human rights and enhance state surveillance without regard to legal constraints, parliamentary oversight, or timeframes for the restoration of constitutional order.  Parliaments are being sidelined, journalists are being arrested and harassed, minorities are being scapegoated, and the most vulnerable sectors of the population face alarming new dangers as the economic lockdowns ravage the very fabric of societies everywhere.

Repression will not help to control the pandemic.  Silencing free speech, jailing peaceful dissenters, suppressing legislative oversight, and indefinitely canceling elections all do nothing to protect public health.  On the contrary, these assaults on freedom, transparency, and democracy will make it more difficult for societies to respond quickly and effectively to the crisis through both government and civic action.

It is not a coincidence that the current pandemic began in a country where the free flow of information is stifled and where the government punished those warning about the dangers of the virus—warnings that were seen as spreading rumors harmful to the prestige of the state.  When voices of responsible citizens are suppressed, the results can be deadly, not for just one country but for the entire world.

Democracy is not just a cherished ideal.  It is the system of government best suited to addressing a crisis of the magnitude and complexity of COVID-19. In contrast to the self-serving claims of authoritarian propaganda, credible and free flows of information, fact-based debate about policy options, the voluntary self-organization of civil society, and open engagement between government and society are all vital assets in combating the pandemic.  And they are all key elements of liberal democracy.

It is only through democracy that societies can build the social trust that enables them to persevere in a crisis, maintain national resilience in the face of hardship, heal deep societal divisions through inclusive participation and dialogue, and retain confidence that sacrifice will be shared and the rights of all citizens respected.

It is only through democracy that independent civil society, including women and young people, can be empowered to partner with public institutions, to assist in the delivery of services, to help citizens stay informed and engaged, and to bolster social morale and a sense of common purpose.

It is only though democracy that free media can play their role of informing people so that they can make sound personal and family decisions, scrutinize government and public institutions, and counter disinformation that seeks to tear societies apart.

It is only through democracy that society can strike a sustainable balance between competing needs and priorities – between combatting the spread of the virus and protecting economic security; and between implementing an effective response to the crisis and protecting people’s civil and political rights in accordance with constitutional norms and guarantees.

It is only in democracies that the rule of law can protect individual liberties from state intrusion and constraint well beyond what is necessary to contain a pandemic.

It is only in democracies that systems of public accountability can monitor and circumscribe emergency government powers, and terminate them when they are no longer needed.

It is only in democracies that government data on the scope and health-impact of the pandemic can be believed.

Democracy does not guarantee competent leadership and effective governance.  While democracies predominate among the countries that have acted most effectively to contain the virus, other democracies have functioned poorly in responding to the pandemic and have paid a very high price in human life and economic security.  Democracies that perform poorly further weaken society and create openings for authoritarians.

But the greatest strength of democracy is its capacity for self-correction.  The COVID-19 crisis is an alarming wake-up call, an urgent warning that the freedoms we cherish are at risk and that we must not take them for granted.  Through democracy, citizens and their elected leaders can learn and grow.  Never has it been more important for them to do that.

The current pandemic represents a formidable global challenge to democracy.  Authoritarians around the world see the COVID-19 crisis as a new political battleground in their fight to stigmatize democracy as feeble and reverse its dramatic gains of the past few decades.  Democracy is under threat, and people who care about it must summon the will, the discipline, and the solidarity to defend it.  At stake are the freedom, health, and dignity of people everywhere.

Below is the list of signatories at the time of the letter’s release on June 25, 2020. However organizations continue to sign on, so the most up to date list of signatories can be found by clicking here. To sign your name in support of the statement and have your name added to the list of signatories, please send an email to signupfordemocracy@idea.int .

.List of Signatories

African Movement for DemocracyAteki Caxton, Advisory Council Member
African Network of Constitutional Lawyers (ANCL)Enyinna Nwauche, Chair
Alinaza Universitaria Nicaraguense (AUN)Max Jerez, Political Coordinator
Al-Kawakibi Democracy Transition CenterAmine Ghali, Director
Alliance of Democracies FoundationJonas Parello-Plesner, Executive Director
Asia Democracy NetworkIchal Supriadi, Secretary-General
Asian Network For Free Elections (ANFREL)Chandanie Watawala, Executive Director
Association Béninoise de Droit Constitutionnel (ABDC)Federic Joel Aivo, Chair
Association for Participatory Democracy (ADEPT)Igor Botan, Executive Director
Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)Andrew Wilson, Executive Director
Christian Democratic International CenterEdvard Agrell, Secretary-General
Coalition for Dialogue in Africa (CODA)Souad Aden-Osman, Executive Director
Colectivo Ciudadano EcuadorWilson Moreno, President
Council for Global EqualityMark Bromley, Executive Director
Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA)Godwin Murunga, Executive Secretary
Democracy InternationalEric Bjornlund, President
Democracy Reporting International (DRI)Michael Meyer-Resende, Executive Director
European Endowment for DemocracyJerzy Pomianowski, Executive Director
European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP)Mana Livardjani, Executive Director
European Partnership for DemocracyKen Godfrey, Executive Director
Forum 2000Jakub Klepal, Executive Director
Freedom HouseMichael Abramowitz, President
Fundación Nuevas GeneracionesJulián Martín Obiglio, President
Fundación Paraguaya de Cooperación y DesarrolloMartin Burt, Executive Director
Fundación Salvadoreña para el Desarrollo Económico y Social (FUSADES)Miguel Angel Simán, President
Human Rights CampaignJean Freedberg, Deputy Director
Human Rights House FoundationMaria Dahle, Director
Institute for Democratic GovernanceEmmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director
Instituto Venezolano de Estudios Sociales y Políticos (INVESP)Francine Jácome, Executive Director
International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL)Douglas Rutzen, President and CEO
International IDEAKevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General
International Republican InstituteDaniel Twining, President
JuventudLACJatzel Roman, Executive Director
Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA)William Goiz, Regional Coordinator
National Democratic InstituteDerek Mitchel, President
National Endowment for DemocracyCarl Gershman, President
Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD)Thijs Berman, Executive Director
Olof Palme International CenterAnna Sundström, Secretary General
Parliamentary Center of CanadaThomas Cormier, CEO
PAX for Peace InternationalAnna Timmerman, General Director
PEN AmericaSuzanne Nossel, CEO
Political Parties of Finland for Democracy – Demo FinlandAnu Juvonen, Executive Director
Prague Civil Society CentreRotislav Valvoda, Executive Director
Program on Democratic Resilience and Development, IDC HerzliyaAmichai Magen, Director
Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human RightsIrwin Colter, Chair
Red Latinoamericana y del Caribe por la Democracia (REDLAD)Gina Romero, Executive Director
Solidarity CenterShawna Bader-Blau, Executive Director
Swedish International Liberal Center (SILC)Martin Ängeby, Secretary-General
Taiwan Foundation for DemocracyKetty W. Chen, Acting President
The Carter CenterPaige Alexander, CEO
The Center Party’s International Foundation (CIS)Catherine Isaksson, Secretary-General
The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA)Denis Kadima, Executive Director
The Foreign Policy CentreDame Audrey Glover, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
The George W. Bush InstituteLindsay Lloyd, Bradford M. Freeman Director of the Human Freedom Initiative
The Inter American Institute of Human Rights (IIDH)Joseph Thompson, Executive Director
The International Democrat Union (IDU)Ray Novak, Vice Chair
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)Anthony Banbury, President and CEO
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex OrganizationJulia Ehrt, Program Director
The Jarl Hjalmarson FoundationEva Gustavsson, Managing Director
The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS)Norbert Lammert, Chairman
The McCain Institute for International LeadershipMark Green, Executive Director
The Nadav FoundationLeonid Nevzlin, Founder
The Oslo CenterFinn Jarle Rode, Executive Director
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SidaCarin Jämtin, Director-General
Transparency InternationalDelia Ferreira Rubio, Chair
Unión de Partidos Latinoamericanos (UPLA)Óscar Ortiz, President
V-Dem InstituteStaffan I. Lindberg, Director
West Africa Centre for Democracy and DevelopmentKole A. Shettima, Chairman
West Africa Civil Society InstituteAyodeji Fajemirokun, Chair
Westminster Foundation for DemocracyAnthony Smith, Chief Executive
World Movement for DemocracyRyota Jonen, Director
World Uyghur CongressDolkun Isa, President
World Youth Movement for DemocracyNevena Todorovid, Coordinator

Signatory Individuals:

Davood MoradianGeneral Director, Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies
Rexhep MeidaniFormer President of Albania
Juela HamatiPresident, European Democracy Youth Network
Fatiha SerourUnited Nations Deputy Special Representative for Somalia; Co-founder, Justice Impact Lab; Member, the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability
Nassera DutourPresident, Federation Against Enforced Disappearances (FEMED)
Rafael Marques de MoraisFounder, Maka Angola
Mauricio MacriFormer President of Argentina
Beatriz SarloJournalist
Flavia FreidenbergProfessor, the Institute of Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
Gerardo BongiovanniPresident, Fundacion Libertad
Laura AlonsoFormer Member of Chamber of Deputies; Former Executive Director, Poder Ciudadano; Former Head of Argentine Anti-Corruption Office
Liliana De RizProfessor, Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo
Patricia BullrichFormer Minister of Security of Argentina
Santiago CantónSecretary of Human Rights for the Province of Buenos Aires; Former Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)
Susana MalcorraFormer Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina; Former Chef de Cabinet to the Executive Office at the United Nations
Gulnara ShahinianFounder and Chair, Democracy Today
Haykuhi HarutyunyanChairperson, Corruption Prevention Commission
Kevin RuddFormer Prime Minister of Australia; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation
Cheryl SaundersLaureate Emeritus Professor, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne; Former Vice Chair of International IDEA Board of Advisors
Gareth EvansFormer Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia and Leader of the Government in the Senate; President Emeritus, the International Crisis Group; Former Dean of Australian National University
Michael DanbyFormer Member of Parliament; Chair, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
Tom Gerald DalyDirector, Democratic Decay & Renewal (DEM-DEC)
Alfred GusenbauerFormer Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria
Anar MammadliChairman, the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center; Former Political Prisoner; Recipient of the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize of the Parliamentary Center of the Council of Europe
Khadija IsmayilovaFormer Political Prisoner and Investigative Journalist
Leila AlievaPresident, Center for National and International Studies
Leyla YunusDirector, the Institute for Peace and Democracy
Muhammad YunusNobel Peace Laureate; Founder, Grameen Bank
Shahidul AlamPhotojournalist and social activist
Ales BialiatskiFounder, The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Lavon VolskiMusician and Activist
Svetlana AlexievichNobel Laureate in Literature
Guy VerhofstadtMember of the European Parliament and European Parliament Brexit Coordinator; Former Prime Minister of Belgium
Karl-Heinz LambertzSpeaker of the Parliament of the German-Speaking Community; Former President of the European Committee of the Regions; Former Minister-President of the German-Speaking Community of Belgium
Kris PeetersMember of the European Parliament; Former Minister-President of Flanders and Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium
Cindy FranssenMember of the European Parliament
Koert DebeufWriter and Editor in Chief, EUobserver
Sabine de BethuneMember of the Senate of Belgium; Former Speaker of the Senate
Theodore HoleFormer Minister of Foreign Affairs of Benin; Former President of the Constitutional Court
Carlos MesaFormer President of Bolivia
Jorge QuirogaFormer President of Bolivia
Zlatko LagumdzijaFormer Prime Minister of Bosnia & Herzegovina
Darko BrkanPresident, CA Why Not
Vildana SelimbegovicEditor-in-Chief, Oslobodjenje
Dumiso GatshaFounder, Success Capital Organisation
Fernando Henrique CardosoFormer President of Brazil
Bolivar LamounierDirector, Augurium Consultores and Advisor, the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid
Celso LaferFormer Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil; Former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Brazil to the World Trade Organization and the United Nations
Daniel MitovFormer Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria
Ivan KrastevChairman, the Centre for Liberal Strategies; Founder, the European Council on Foreign Relations
Wai Wai NuExecutive Director, Women’s Peace Network; Rohingya Human Rights Activist
Akere MunaChair, International Anti-Corruption Conference Council
Ateki Seta CaxtonChair, African Movement for Democracy
Charles Joseph ClarkFormer Prime Minister of Canada; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation
Stephen HarperFormer Prime Minister of Canada
Anita VandenbeldMember of Parliament
Bob RaeFormer Member of Parliament; Senior Fellow, Forum of Federations and Professor, University of Toronto
Chelsea GabelChair, Indigenous Well-Being, Community Engagement and Innovation Research Canada
Hugh SegalFormer Member of the Senate of Canada; Senior Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs; Master of Massey College at the University of Toronto
Jean-Pierre KingsleyFormer Chief Electoral Officer of Elections Canada
Lloyd AxworthyFormer Minister of Foreign Affairs; Chair, World Refugee Council
Louise FréchetteFormer Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation
Nicole GoodmanDirector, the Centre for e-Democracy; Associate Professor, Brock University
Ronald DeibertDirector, Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto
Thomas MulcairFormer Member of Parliament; Senior Fellow, Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights
Francisco Rojas-AravenaRector, the University for Peace (UPEACE)
Gloria de la FuentePresident, Fundacion Chile 21
Jose Miguel InsulzaMember of the Senate of the Republic of Chile; Former Secretary-General, the Organization of American States
José Miguel VivancoHuman Rights Lawyer
Leonidas MontesDirector, Centro de Estudios Públicos
Rafael RincónDirector, Fundación Para el Progreso
Sascha Hannig NunezSecretary-General, Asociación Latinoamericana de Estudios de Asia y África; Researcher, Fundacion para El Progresso
Sergio BitarPresident, the Chilean Council for Strategy and Foresight
Han DongfangExecutive Director, China Labor Bulletin
Liu XiaArtist and Widow of Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo
Wang DanFounder and Executive Director, Dialogue China
Xiao QiangDirector, the Counter-Power Lab; Former Executive Director of Human Rights in China; Former Vice-chairman of the steering committee of the World Movement for Democracy
Yang JianliFounder and President, Citizen Power Initiatives for China
Juan Manuel SantosNobel Peace Laureate and Former President of Colombia
Andres PastranaFormer President of Colombia
Cesar GaviriaFormer President of Colombia
Catalina BoteroDean, the Law School of the University of Los Andes, Bogotá; Former Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Inter American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR)
Humberto de la CalleFormer Vice President of Colombia
Laura GilJournalist and Director, Dialogos and Estrategias
Oscar Arias SanchezNobel Peace Laureate and Former President of Costa Rica
Laura ChinchillaFormer President of Costa Rica
Luis Guillermo SolisFormer President of Costa Rica
Miguel Angel RodriguezFormer President of Costa Rica
Eduardo UlibarriJournalist
Josette AltmannSecretary-General, FLACSO
Ivo JosipovicFormer President of Croatia
Vesna PusićFormer Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Croatia
Carlos Alberto MontanerWriter and Journalist
Joel BritoExecutive Director, the International Group for Corporate Social Responsibility in Cuba
Rosa Maria PayaPresident, the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy
Jan FischerFormer Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
Alexander VondraMember of the European Parliament; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic
Ivan M. HavelResearcher and Former Director of the Center for Theoretical Studies
Ivan PilipFormer Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic; Former Vice President, the European Investment Bank
Martin PalousDirector, Vaclav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy, Florida International University
Michael ZantovskyExecutive Director, Vaclav Havel Library
Simon PanekDirector, People in Need
Zdeněk HřibMayor of Prague
Antoni Abat NinetProfessor of Constitutional Law, the University of Copenhagen
Leonel FernándezFormer President of the Dominican Republic; President, the World Federation of United Nations Associations
Rosario EspinalProfessor, College of Liberal Arts, Department of Sociology, Temple University
Osvaldo HurtadoFormer President of Ecuador
Rosalía Arteaga SerranoFormer President of Ecuador
Simón PachanoProfessor-researcher, FLACSO Ecuador
Amr HamzawyFormer Member of the People’s Assembly of Egypt; Senior research scholar, the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University
Aya HijaziFounder, Belady foundation for Street Children
Bahey Eddin HassanDirector, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies; Human rights advocate
Ezzedine Choukri FishereWriter and Academic
Hisham KassemPolitical Commentator and Former Chairman, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
Nagwan SolimanAffiliate Scholar, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
Nancy OkailFormer Director, the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy
Ana Vilma Albanez de EscobarFormer Vice President of El Salvador
Joaquín VillalobosScholar
Toomas Henrik IlvesFormer President of Estonia
Marina KaljurandMember of the European Parliament; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Bilen Asrat EjiguExecutive Director, Ethiopian Civil Society Organizations Forum
Heidi HautalaVice President of the European Parliament; Former Minister of International Development of Finland
Antoine BernardSenior Advisor, Reporters sans frontières (RSF); Faculty, PSIA/SciencesPo
Bernard Henri LévyMember, Jcall Advocacy Group
Guy SormanPresident, France-Amerique
Jacques RupnikProfessor, Center for International Studies at SciencesPo in Paris
Jean-Claude CasanovaFormer President, Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques
Jean-Marie GuéhennoFormer United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations
Giorgi MargvelashviliFormer President of Georgia
Davit UsupashviliFormer Speaker of Parliament of Georgia
Eka GigauriExecutive Director, Transparency International Georgia
Ghia NodiaChairman, Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy, and Development
Giorgi MuchaidzeExecutive Director, Atlantic Council, Georgia
Ketevan ChachavaExecutive Director, Center for Development and Democracy
Nino EvgenidzeExecutive Director, Economic Policy Research Center
Nino ZambakhidzeChairwoman, Georgian Farmers Association
Tinatin KhidasheliChairperson, Civic IDEA, former Minister of Defense
Ucha NanuashviliDirector, Democracy Research Institute (DRI)
Andreas BummelExecutive Director, Democracy Without Borders
Elmar BrokFormer Member of the European Parliament; Former Chairman, the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee
Markus MeckelFormer Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of the Bundestag
Ralf FücksFormer Deputy Mayor and Senator for Urban Development and Environmental Protection; Founder, Zentrum Liberale Moderne
Stefan MeisterDirector, South Caucasus Office, Heinrich Boell Foundation
Tanja A. BörzelProfessor of Political Science, Freie University, Berlin
E. Gyimah BoadiExecutive Director, AfroBarometer
Esther TawiahFounder and Executive Director, Gender Centre for Empowering Development (GenCED)
Claudia Escobar MejiaFormer Judge, Legal Specialist on Anti-corruption Policies
Eduardo SteinFormer Vice President of Guatemala and Minister of Foreign Affairs; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation
Rigoberta MenchúNobel Peace Laureate
Julieta CastellanosFormer Rector of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras
Arnold Chung Chin KiuFounding Member, Demosisto
Joshua WongFounder, Demosisto
Lee Cheuk YanFormer Member of the Legislative Council; Secretary-General, Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions
Martin LeeFounder, Democratic Party
Bálint MagyarFormer Minister of Education of Hungary
Kata TüttőDeputy Mayor of Budapest
Katka CsehMember of the European Parliament; Co-founder, Momentum Movement
Kész ZoltánFormer Member of Parliament; Honorary President, Free Market Foundation of Hungary
Klara DobrevVice President of the European Parliament
Miklos HarasztiFormer OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media; Resident Fellow, Center for Media, Central European University
Peter KrekoDirector, Political Capital Institute, Europe’s Futures Fellow, IWM/ERSTE Stiftung
Ingibjörg Sólrún GísladóttirDirector, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland
Mohammad Hamid AnsariFormer Vice President of India; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation; Former Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations
Neelam DeoDirector, Gateway House Mumbai
S.Y. QuraishiFormer Chief Election Commissioner of India
Sanjay PradhanCEO, Open Government Partnership (OGP)
Surendra MunshiSociologist
Vipul MudgalDirector, Common Cause
Bambang HarymurtiFormer CEO and Editor in Chief, Tempo Magazine
Marzuki DarusmanFormer Attorney General of Indonesia and Member of the House of Representatives; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation
Titi AnggrainiExecutive Director, Perludem
Azar NafisiFormer Fellow, the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); New York Times Best-Seller Author
Ladan BoroumandCo-founder, Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy in Iran
Nazanin BoniadiArtist and Board Member, the Center for Human Rights in Iran
Ramin JahanbeglooDirector, Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Peace, Jindal Global University
Shirin EbadiNobel Peace Laureate; Founder, Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran
Abdalaziz Younis AljarbaChairman, Al-Tahreer Association for Development
Fatima al-BahadliExecutive Director, the Iraqi al-Firdaws Society
Sarkawt ShamsulddinMember of Parliament
John BrutonFormer Prime Minister of Ireland; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation; Former EU Ambassador to the United States
Christine BellFounder and Director, Global Justice Academy; Professor of Constitutional Law and Assistant Principal, University of Edinburgh
Dan MeridorFormer Deputy Prime Minister of Israel and Minister of Finance
Elyakim RubinsteinFormer Attorney General of Israel and Deputy President of the Supreme Court
Natan SharanskyFormer Deputy Prime Minister of Israel and Minister of Housing and Construction
Shlomo AvineriProfessor, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Yaniv RoznaiProfessor of Law at theRadzyner School of Law, IDC Herzliya
Enrico LettaFormer Prime Minister of Italy; Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po, Paris
Gianni BuquicchioPresident, Venice Commission for Democracy
Leonardo MorlinoPresident, the International Center on Democracy and Democratisation (ICEDD) and Emeritus Professor of Political Science, LUISS University in Rome
Matteo MecacciFormer Member of Parliament; President, International Campaign for Tibet
PJ PattersonFormer Prime Minister of Jamaica; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation; Former Chair of the United Nations Security Council
Maiko IchiharaAssociate Professor of International Relations, Hitotsubashi University
Yoichi FunabashiChairman, Asia Pacific Initiative; Award Winning Journalist and Author
Yukio TakasuChairman, Japan Center for International Exchange; Former Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations
Ibrahim SaifFormer Minister of Energy and Minister of Planning of Jordan
Marwan MuasherFormer Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan
Oraib Al RantawiGeneral Director, Al Quds Center for Political Studies
Yevgeniy ZhovtisDirectorof the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law
Gilbert SebihogoExecutive Director, Network of African National Human Rights Institutions
Atifete JahjagaFormer President of Kosovo
Aagon MaliqiProgram Director, Sbunker
Roza OtumbayevaFormer President of Kyrgyzstan
Cholpon Idinovna DjakupovaDirector, Legal Clinic “Adilet”
Zamira SysykovaFounder and Editor-in-Chief, Res Publica; Recipient of the Courage in Journalism Award of the International Women’s Media Foundation
Vaira Vike-FreibergaFormer President of Latvia; Founding Member, Club de Madrid
Valdis BirkavsFormer Prime Minister of Latvia
Eddie D. JarwoloExecutive Director, Naymote Partners for Democratic Development
Leymah R. GboweeNobel Peace Laureate; President, The Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa
Andrius KubiliusMember of the European Parliament and Former Prime Minister of Lithuania
Vytautas LandsbergisFormer President of Lithuania
Emanuelis ZingerisChairman, Subcommittee on Transatlantic Relations and Democracy Development, Parliament of Lithuania
Mantas AdomenasMember of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania
Sarunas LiekisChair, The Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis
Zygimantas PavilionisDeputy Chair, European Affairs Committee of the Parliament
Ahmad FaroukFounder and Director, the Islamic Renaissance Front (IFR)
Lawrence GonziFormer Prime Minister of Malta; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation
Cassam UteemFormer President of Mauritius; Vice President, the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation
Ernesto ZedilloFormer President of Mexico
Claudia Ruiz MassieuFormer Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico
Enrique KrauzeHistorian and Editor, Letras Libres
Jorge CastanedaFormer Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico
Sergio AguayoProfessor, Colegio de Mexico, Visiting Scientist, Harvard University
Maia SanduFormer Prime Minister of Moldova
Elbegdorj TsakhiaFormer President of Mongolia
Sanjaasuren BayaraaSpecial Advisor, the Zorig Foundation; Former Ambassador of Mongolia to India
Milica KovacevicPresident, Center for Democratic Transision
Srdjan DarmanovicMinister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro
Mohammed MasbahDirector, Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis
Mokhtar BenabdallaouiProfessor of Islamic Studies, Hassan II University
Joaquim Alberto ChissanoFormer President of the Republic of Mozambique; Chairperson, the Joaquim Chissano Foundation
Bhoj Raj PokharelFormer Chief Election Commissioner of Nepal
Pragya LamsalDevelopment professional and women’s rights activist
Jan Peter BalkenendeFormer Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Emine BozkurtFormer Member of the European Parliament
Hans van BaalenPresident, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Jeroen DijsselbloemFormer Minister of Finance of the Netherlands; Former President, Eurogroup
Kati PiriMember of the European Parliament
Laurens Jan BrinkhorstFormer Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Lilianne PloumenMember of Parliament; Former Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands
Helen ClarkFormer Prime Minister of New Zealand; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation; Former Deputy Prime Minister; Former Administrator of the UNDP
Don McKinnonFormer Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand
Enrique José Bolaños GeyeFormer President of Nicaragua
Carlos Fernando ChamorroEditor, Confidencial
Cristiana ChamorroFounder, the Violeta Chamorro Foundation
Edmundo JarquínFormer Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidate of Nicaragua
Olusegun ObasanjoFormer President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Chair, the West Africa Commission on Drugs
Ayo ObeLegal Practitioner and Former Chairperson, Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy
Clement NwankwoFounding Chairman, the Transition Monitoring Group
Innocent ChukwumaFounder, the Center for Law Enforcement Education
Jibrin IbrahimSenior Fellow, Center for Democracy and Development Abuja
Maryam Garba UsmanExecutive Director, Center for Advocacy in Gender and Social Inclusion CAGSI
Rinsola AbiolaAdvocate for gender equity and youth inclusion in politics; Member of the Board of Directors of Young Women in Politics Forum
Samson ItodoExecutive Director, YIAGA and Initiator of the Not Too Young to Run campaign
Wole SoyinkaNobel Laureate in Literature
Zoran ZaevFormer Prime Minister of North Macedonia
Oliver SpasovskiPresident of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia
Kjell Magne BondevikFormer Prime Minister of Norway; Founder and Executive Chair, the Oslo Center
Bjørn EngeslandSecretary-General, Norwegian Helsinki Committee
Thor HalvorssenPresident, the Oslo Freedom Forum
Vidar HelgesenFormer Secretary-General, International IDEA
Gulalai IsmailFounder and Chairperson, Aware Girl
Husain HaqqaniDirector, South and Central Asia, The Hudson Institute; Former Ambassador to the United States
Zafarullah KhanCEO, Civic Concerns
Azmi ShuabiFormer Member of Parliament
Walid SalemPalestinian Intellectual
Serena SumanopCEO, the Digicel PNG Foundation
Federico Franco GómezFormer President of Paraguay
Diego Abente BrunFormer Senator and Minister of Justice and Labor of Paraguay
Line BareiroFounder, Centro de Documentación y Estudios (CDE-Paraguay); Former Member, the United Nations Committee for the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
Milda RivarolaMember of the Academia Paraguaya de la Historia
Beatriz MerinoThe President of the Council of Ministers of Peru and National Ombudswoman
Gustavo GorritiJournalist and Director, IDL-Reporter
Lucia DammertProfessor, University of Santiago of Chile
Mario Vargas LlosaNobel Laureate for Literature
Chito GasconChairperson, Commission on Human Rights
Maria RessaCEO and Executive Editor, Rappler
Maxine Tanya HamadaCorporate Secretary, iLEAD
Teresita Quintos-DelesChairperson, INCITEGov
Jerzy BuzekMember of the European Parliament and Former Prime Minister of Poland
Lech WałęsaNobel Peace Laureate and Former President of Poland
Aleksander KwasniewskiFormer President of Poland
Adam BodnarCommissioner for Human Rights of Poland
Agnieszka HollandFilm Director
Danuta PrzywaraPresident, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights
Leszek BalcerowiczFormer Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and Minister of Finance
Radosław SikorskiMember of the European Parliament; Former Foreign Minister and Minister of Defence of Poland; Chairman, the EU-USA Delegation
Rafal DutkiewiczFormer Mayor of Wroclaw
Sławomir SierakowskiDirector, Krytyka Polityczna
Ana GomesFormer Member of the European Parliament
Joao Carlos EspadaDirector, the Institute of Political Studies, Catholic University of Lisbon
Andrea NgombetDirector, Anti-Kleptocracy Strategy of Sassoufit Collective
Dismas KitengePresident, LOTUS Group
Hong-koo LeeFormer Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea
Ha TaekyungMember of National Assembly of the Republic of Korea
Han SungJooFormer Minister of Foreign Affairs; Chairman, Asan Institute for Policy Studies
Ji Seong hoMember of National Assembly of the Republic of Korea and North Korean defector
Kak Soo ShinFormer Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea; Fellow, Institute for Corean-American Studies; Former Ambassador; Former Deputy Permanent Representative at the Korean Mission to the United Nations
Keum Tae SupRanking Member of the Legislation and Judiciary Committee of the National Assembly
Kim Se YeonMember of National Assembly of the Republic of Korea
Oh JoonFormer South Korean Ambassador to the United Nations
Seung-hee  HwangboMember of National Assembly of the Republic of Korea
Sook Jong LeeTrustee, East Asia Institute; Professor, Sungkyunkwan University
Thae YounghoMember of National Assembly of the Republic of Korea
Petre RomanFormer Prime Minister of Romania
Alina AflecailorHuman Rights Educator, Greenpeace Romania
Alina Mungiu-PippidiDemocracy Chair, Hertie School of Governance
Alexander LikhotalProfessor, the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations; Advisor, the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid; Former President, Green Cross International
Andrei PiontkovskyWriter and Visiting Fellow, the Hudson Institute
Garry KasparovChairman, Renew Democracy Initiative (RDI); Chairman, the Human Rights Foundation; Former World Chess Champion, Writer, and Political Activist
Leonid GozmanPresident, Union of Right Forces (SPS)
Lilia ShevtsovaRichard von Weizsäcker Fellow, Robert Bosch Academy
Mikhail KhodorkovskyFormer Political Prisoner and Opposition Leader
Natalia TaubinaDirector, Public Verdict Foundation
Vladimir Kara-MurzaChairman, Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom
Zhanna NemtsovaCo-founder, Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom; Journalist and Social Activist
Yahya AssiriFounder, ALQST
Abdoulaye BathilyFormer Member and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Senegal; Former UN Under-Secretary General
Cheikh Oumar Cyrille Touré (aka Thiat)Co-founder of Y’en a Marre
Penda MbowHistorian and President, Mouvement Citoyen
Andrej NosovFounder, Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR)
Ivan ĐurićCoordinator, the World Youth Movement for Democracy
Natasa KandićFounder, Humanitarian Law Center
Sonja BiserkoChair, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights
Vukosava CrnjanskiDirector, Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability
Ernest Bai KoromaFormer President of Sierra Leone
Noeleen HeyzerFormer Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations; Advisor, the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid ; Former United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste
Iveta RadicovaFormer Prime Minister of Slovakia
Martin ButoraHonorary Chairman, Institute for Public Affairs
Martin HojsikMember of the European Parliament
Peter PollakMember of the European Parliament
Hassan ShireChairperson, Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network
FW de KlerkNobel Peace Laureate and Former President of South Africa; Founder, the Global Leadership Foundation
Adam HabibVice-Chancellor and Principal, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Graca MachelFounder, Graca Machel Trust; Executive Chair, Mandele Institute for Development Studies in Johannesburg
Thuli MadonselaFormer Public Protector of South Africa; Founder, Thuma Foundation for Democracy Leadership and Literacy
Ana PalacioFormer Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain
Cristina ManzanoDirector, esGlobal
Radhika CoomaraswamyFormer Under Secretary General and the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict
Ravindra De SilvaCo-founder and Executive Director, AFRIEL Youth Network
Carl BildtFormer Prime Minister of Sweden
Bengt Säve-SöderberghFormer Secretary-General, International IDEA
Cecilia MalmströmFormer Member of the European Commission; Visiting Professor, the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg
Margot WallströmFormer Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden
Nils KarlsonPresident and CEO, the The Ratio Institute
Robert HardhMember, Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy; Former Executive Director, Civil Rights Defenders
Kaspar VilligerFormer President of the Swiss Confederation; Founding Member, the Global Leadership Foundation; Chairman, the UBS Foundation of Economics in Society
Micheline Calmy-ReyFormer President of the Swiss Confederation; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation; Former President of the Council of Europe
Pascal CouchepinFormer President of the Swiss Confederation; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation; Former President of the Ministerial Assembly of the World Trade Organisation
Bassma KodmaniFormer Executive Director, the Arab Reform Initiative
Audrey TangMember of the Executive Yuan Council of Taiwan as Digital Minister
Joseph WuMinister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China
Jon UngphakornFormer Member of the Senate of Thailand
Nidhi EoseewongHistorian and Recipient of the Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prize
Lobsang SangayPresident, Central Tibet Administration
Jose Ramos-HortaNobel Peace Laureate and Former President of East Timor
Amine GhaliDirector, Al Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center
Radwan A. MasmoudiExecutive Director, the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy; Civil society activist
Hikmet ÇetinFormer Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation; Former NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan
Yakin ErtürkFormer UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women
Arthur LarokDirector, Federation Development, ActionAid International
Livingstone SewanyanaExecutive Director, the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative; UN Independent Expert on Promoting a Democratic and Equitable International Order
Nicholas OpiyoExcutive Director, Chapter Four
Borys GudziakPresident, the Ukrainian Catholic University
Borys TarasyukDirector, Institute for EuroAtlantic Cooperation
Mustafa NayyemFormer Member of Parliament
Mykola RiabchukHonorary President, Ukrainian PEN Center
Myroslav MarynovychVice-rector, the Ukrainian Catholic University
Svitlana ZalishchukFormer Member of Parliament and Former Advisor to Prime Minister
Yevgeniy ZakharovFounder, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Lord George RobertsonFormer Secretary-General, NATO; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation
Lynda ChalkerFormer Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Founding Member, the Global Leadership Foundation; Founder and President, Africa Matters Limited
Michael Pinto-DuschinskyFounder Governor, Westminster Foundation for Democracy
Pippa NorrisPaul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Sir Malcolm RifkindFormer Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Timothy Garton AshProfessor of European Studies, Oxford University and Senior Fellow, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Adolfo GarcéProfessor, the Political Science Institute, Universidad de la República in Montevideo
Luis AlmagroSecretary-General, Organization of American States
Andrew CardChairman, the National Endowment for Democracy
Andrew NatsiosDirector, Scowcroft Institute of international affairs, Bush School of Government, Texas A&M University
Arch PuddingtonFormer Editor, Survey of Freedom in the World, Freedom House
Barbara MikulskiFormer United States Senator
Benjamin RhodesPresident, National Security Action; Former Deputy National Security Advisor
Bill RichardsonFormer Governor of New Mexico; Former Ambassador to the United Nnations
Brian AtwoodFormer USAID Administrator
Carol BellamyFormer Executive Director, UNICEF
Catherine MarshallDirector, the Agora Research Center, CY Cergy Paris University
Charles DavidsonCo-founder, The American Interest
Chester A. CrockerFormer Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; Member, the Global Leadership Foundation
Chris FussnerAssistant Chairman, International Democratic Union
Cindy McCainChair, Board of Trustees of the McCain Institute for International Leadership
Claudio LodiciCoordinator, Biennial Conference on the State of Democracy, Loyola University Chicago
Cliff MayPresident, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Constance NewmanFormer Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
David E. PriceMember of the United States House of Representatives for North Carolina
David J. KramerFormer United States Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; Senior Fellow, Vaclav Havel Program on Human Rights and Diplomacy, Florida International University
David SkaggsFormer Congressman; ViceChair, the National Endowment for Democracy
Dennis Cutler BlairAdmiral; Former United States Director of National Intelligence
Dov S. ZakheimFormer Under Secretary of Defense
Eileen DonahoeExecutive Director, Stanford Global Digital Policy Incubator
Eric EdelmanFormer United States Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
Francis FukuyamaProfessor, Stanford University
Frank J. FahrenkopfFounding Member, the International Republican Institute; Co-chair, the Commission on the Presidential Debates
Fred RedmondVice President, United Steelworkers Union
Gaddi VasquezFormer Ambassador and Former Permanent Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture
Gary HartFormer United States Senator
George WeigelWilliam E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies, the Ethics and Public Policy Center
George WillWriter and Columnist
Goran MileticDirector for Europe, Civil Rights Defenders
Greg LebedevChairman, the Center for International Private Enterprise
Herbert Raymond McMasterFormer United States National Security Advisor; Senior Fellow, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Member of Board of Directors, the Atlantic Council
Howard DeanFormer Governor of Vermont; Chair, DNC
Jeb BushFormer Governor of Florida
Jeffrey FeltmanFormer United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs
Jeffrey GedminEditor-in-Chief and CEO, The American Interest
Jerry JonesVice President and Chief Legal Officer, ACXIOM; Advisor, the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid
Jim KolbeFormer Congressman; Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States
John ShattuckFormer Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; President Emeritus, the Central European University
Johnnie CarsonFormer Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Josh MuravchikAuthor and Adjunct Professor, The Institute of World Politics
Joshua KurlantzickSenior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
Kelly AyotteFormer United States Senator
Kenneth WollackFormer President, the National Democratic Institute; Former Legislative Director, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
Kristen SilverbergFormer Assistant Secretary of State
Kurt VolkerFormer United States Ambassador to NATO and Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations
Larry DiamondSenior Fellow, Stanford University Hoover Institution & Freeman Spogli Institute
Lee FeinsteinFormer Ambassador to Poland
Leon WieseltierEditor, Liberties
Linda Thomas GreenfieldFormer Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Liz SchrayerPresident and CEO, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition
Liz ShulerSecretary-Treasurer, the AFL-CIO
Madeleine AlbrightFormer United States Secretary of State
Marc PlattnerCoeditor Emeritus, Journal of Democracy
Marco RubioSenior United States Senator for Florida
Marcus BrauchliFormer Editor, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal
Mark GreenExecutive Director, McCain Institute for International Leadership
Mel MartinezFormer United States Senator
Melanne VerveerFormer United States Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues
Michael ChertoffChairman, Freedom House; Former Second United States Secretary of Homeland Security
Michael McFaulDirector, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Michael ShifterPresident, the Inter-American Dialogue; Adjunct Professor of Latin American Studies, Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service
Michele DunneDirector, Middle East Program, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Mike GreenFormer Senior Director, National Security Council
Moises NaimSenior Fellow, the Carnegie Endowment for Peace
Niall FergusonHistorian and Milbank Family Senior Fellow, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University
Norman EisenSenior Fellow, the Brookings Institution
Peter Van PraaghPresident, Halifax International Security Forum
Philip ZimbardoFounder, the Heroic Imagination Project
Rachel HoffPolicy Director, Ronald Reagan Institute
Randy ScheunemannVice Chairman, Board of Directors, the International Republican Institute
Richard FontaineCEO, Center for a New American Security (CNAS)
Richard GephardtFormer House Majority Leader; Former Chairman, NED
Richard GereFounder, the Gere Foundation; Chairman, The International Campaign for Tibet
Rick AtkinsonJournalist
Rob BerschinskiSenior Vice President for Policy, Human Rights First
Robert C. MillerPresident, the Hurford Foundation
Roger ZakheimDirector, Ronald Reagan Institute; Former Commissioner, the Commission on the National Defense Strategy of the United States; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Sam GejdensonFormer Congressman
Sean CarrollPresident and CEO, Anera and Advisor, the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid
Serhii PlokhiiProfessor of History, Harvard University
Susan CorkeExecutive Director, Transatlantic Democracy Working Group, German Marshall Fund
Ted PicconeChief Engagement Officer, World Justice Project
Thomas CarothersSenior Fellow, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Thomas DaschleFormer United States Senate Majority Leader
Thomas MeliaFormer Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; Washington Director, PEN America
Timothy SnyderProfessor of History, Yale University; Permanent Fellow, the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna
Tod LindbergSenior Fellow, the Hudson Institute
Tom BernsteinChair, the Human Freedom Advisory Council of the George W. Bush Presidential Center
Vern BuchananMember of the United States House of Representatives for Florida
Victoria NulandFormer Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
Walter MondaleFormer Vice President of the United States
William A. GalstonSenior Fellow, the Brookings Institution
William AntholisDirector, the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia
William J. BurnsFormer United States Deputy Secretary of State
William KristolDirector, Defending Democracy Together
Hasler IglesiasYouth Coordinator, Voluntad Popular
Tamara AdrianMember of National Assembly of Venezuela
Nguyen Quang AChairman, the Civil Society Forum
Tawakkol KarmanNobel Peace Laureate; Founder, Women Journalists Without Chains
Glanis ChangachirereFounding Director, Institute for Young Women Development