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September 16, 2019

International Parliamentary Meeting “Our Solidarity for Democracy”


‘True democracy is a two-way street, built on a constant dialogue between civil society and the political class. This dialogue must have real influence on political decisions. This is why political participation, civic space and social dialogue make up the very foundations of good governance. It is even more true with the impact of globalization and technological progress. And yet today, civic space is shrinking worldwide at an alarming rate. Civil society activists are finding it increasingly difficult to operate. Human rights defenders and parliamentarians are under attack. Women remain vastly under-represented. Journalists face interference, and in some cases violence,’ remarked Emanuelis Zingeris, Member of the Seimas and initiator of the international parliamentary meeting. According to him, the International Day of Democracy is an opportunity to call on all governments to respect citizens’ right to an active, substantive and meaningful participation in democracy.

Welcome address to the guests of the event was made by Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas, and Emanuelis Zingeris, Chair of the Subcommittee on Transatlantic Relations and Democratic Development of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs and founder of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy.

Interventions at the meeting were made by Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Member of the Seimas Committee on Human Rights; Emanuelis Zingeris, Chair of the Subcommittee on Transatlantic Relations and Democratic Development of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs; Borys Tarasyuk, member of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy; Rūta Miliūtė, Chair of the Subcommittee on High Technology, Innovation and Digital Economy of the Seimas Committee on Economics; Arnoldas Pranckevičius,  Head of the European Commission Representation in Lithuania; Giorgi Kandelaki, Member of the Parliament of Georgia; Prof. Vytautas Landsbergis, Chair of the Supreme Council –Reconstituent Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, Signatory to the Act of Independence of Lithuania, and former Member of the European Parliament; Žygimantas Pavilionis, Deputy Head of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs; and Anatol Liabedzka, Head of the United Civil Party of Belarus.

After the debate, an exhibition entitled Historic Meetings was opened in the Stained Glass Gallery of Building 1 of the Seimas. On display at the exhibition are the most memorable meetings of the Members of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy. On this occasion, the second edition of the Forum’s publication entitled Historic Meetings was also presented. The publication showcases the key meetings organised by the Forum and includes the main political documents adopted by the Forum over the past nine years.

In 2010, on the occasion of the anniversary of Lithuania’s independence, the Vilnius Declaration was signed. The Declaration, which established the Parliamentary Forum of the Community of Democracies, was signed by 43 parliamentarians from 18 countries who committed to “work together to strengthen democracy where it is weak and invigorate it even where it is longstanding; to promote peace, development, human rights and freedoms, gender equality, and equal opportunities in their respective countries and around the world”.

The Forum currently complements the cooperation between the governments and non-governmental organisations of the Community of Democracies.

 

The video record of the event (in Lithuanian) can be found on the Seimas YouTube channel.

 

Rimas Rudaitis, Chief Specialist, Press Office, Information and Communication Department,

tel. +370 5 239 6132, e-mail: rimas.rudaitis@lrs.lt

 

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