Forum 2000 Annual Conference in Prague

Annual multi-cultural platform for global leaders from all over the world discusses the most salient issues of today

November 14th, 2016
Linda Vavricova, CD News

The Forum 2000 Foundation was founded by former Czech President Václav Havel, Japanese Government Goodwill Ambassador for the Human Rights of People Affected by Leprosy Yohei Sasakawa, and Nobel Peace Prize winner and Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel. It creates an annual powerful platform for global leaders from all over the world to discuss the most pressing and salient issues in today’s world.

Last month, the Forum 2000 Foundation organized its 20th conference in Prague. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘The Courage to Take Responsibility’, which was predominantly focused on trying to find an answer for the following questions: “are the current democratic systems unable to generate true leaders? Is the growing authoritarianism in the world a result of the weakness of democratic leadership? Where are the Havels, Churchills or Mandelas of today?”

Guests at the conference included the Slovak president Andrej Kiska, who delivered a speech about the rising xenophobia in recent years. Another keynote speaker at the conference was the spiritual leader of Tibet and good friend of the former Czech president Václav Havel, the Dalai Lama. He delivered a lecture on the topic of the Secular Ethics, while emphasizing his current role in the promotion and preservation of Tibetan culture, language and the environmental protection of nature in Tibet. The Dalai Lama retired in 2011 and has completely given up his political role since then.

Among the other keynote speakers were the Russian political activist Garry Kasparov, who was the leader of the pro-democracy opposition in Moscow, and Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist Manal al-Sharif, who started a women’s right to drive campaign. Also speaking was British journalist Edward Lucas, who currently works as a senior editor at The Economist and is a specialist in energy, cyber-security, Russian foreign and security policy and Eastern Europe.

The four day conference which took place from 16th October until 19th October 2016 was divided into different thematic areas: democratic leadership deficit; challenges to democracy; Havel; 20 years of Forum 2000; the world and its current challenges; and interfaith dialogue. Conferences took place across different venues across Prague: Žofín at Slavonic Island, Goethe Institute and the Mánes Gallery both located at the Masaryk Waterfront.


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