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On Thursday 3 December 2009, Adam Michnik, the well-known Polish democracy campaigner, will be presented the 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award and deliver the 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. He will be introduced by Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser to U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The welcoming remarks are by Woodrow Wilson Center President and Director, Lee Hamilton and by Ratiu Foundation Chairman, Nicolae Ratiu.
BREAKING NEWS: With the occasion of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture 2009, the Ratiu Foundation produced a short film on this event, its significance, and how it came about five years ago. The film, which will also be screened prior to the lecture at the Woodrow Wilson Center, can be viewed by the public on YouTube.
A Facebook page of the event is available here.
THE ION RATIU DEMOCRACY LECTURE 2009
“Democracy: Traps and Question Marks” by Adam Michnik
Thursday 3 December 2009, 16.00 – 18.00 (US East Coast time)
(London time: 21.00 – 23.00; Bucharest time: 23.00 – 01.00)
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Flom Auditorium, 6th Floor
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
The event is fully booked but it can be viewed live over the internet (webcast) through Wilson Center’s On Demand service. A recording will also be available for later viewing on the event’s page. Details on www.wilsoncenter.org/ratiu
Adam Michnik is the Editor-in-Chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland’s largest daily newspaper. Historian, essayist and political publicist, Michnik was one of the leading organizers of the illegal, democratic opposition in Poland between 1968-1989. By having Adam Michnik as this year’s awardee, The Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture 2009 can be seen as a celebration of 20 years from the reawakening of democracy in Eastern Europe.
A list of selected articles in English by, as well as interviews with, Adam Michnik can be found on www.romanianculturalcentre.org.uk
THE ION RATIU DEMOCRACY LECTURE – CONNECTED EVENTS
RATIU FAMILY DINNER – Wednesday 2 December 2009
A special Ratiu Family dinner was held at the Cosmos Club in Washington D.C. on the evening of 2 December, in celebration of the Ratiu Foundation’s 30th anniversary. The guest of honour was Adam Michnik, the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award Winner for 2009. Among the dinner guests were: The Hon Zbigniew Brzezinski; HE Robert Kupiecki, Ambassador of Poland in Washington D.C.; representatives of the Embassy of Romania in Washington D.C.; Prof Eliot Sorel, M.D., Senior Adviser IRDL; members of the Board of the Ratiu Foundation USA; Dr Jerzy Eisler, historian; Dr Anatoli Mikhailov (winner of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award 2007); Dean Carol Lancaster, School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University; Christian Ostermann, Director, European Studies Program, Woodrow Wilson Center; Prof Charles King, Georgetown University; journalist Sheilah Kast; Judge Patricia Wald; Prof Mary King, political scientist; representatives of US charities working in Romania; leaders of the American-Romanian community, and American businessmen of Romanian origin.
The evening was hosted by Nicolae Ratiu, Chairman of the Ratiu Foundation, as well as by the Foundation’s Trustees, Elisabeth Ratiu and Indrei Ratiu.
MEDIA BREAKFAST BRIEFING – Thursday 3 December 2009
Prior to the Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture (IRDL), the press is invited to a Media Breakfast Briefing on the subject of “NATO, the EU, and the Resurgence of an Assertive Russian Foreign Policy: Challenges to Europe’s Democratic Governance as seen from Warsaw”.
Joining Adam Michnik, recipient of the 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award, are guest speakers Arch Puddington, Director of Research, Freedom House; Stephan Richter, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, the Globalist; Christian Ostermann, Director, European Studies Program, Woodrow Wilson Center.
• 9.00-10.00, Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th floor Moynihan Board Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C.
THE WORLD YOUTH DEMOCRACY FORUM – Friday 4 December 2009
The World Youth Democracy Forum for D.C.-Area Students, convened and moderated by Prof Eliot Sorel, M.D., Senior Adviser IRDL, and Henry Hale, director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, the George Washington University, will take place on 4 December 2009 at the Elliott School of International Affairs.
Young people interested in world affairs will have the chance to meet Adam Michnik, the 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award Winner.
• 10.00, Elliott School of International Affairs, room 505, 1957 E St., NW, Washington D.C.
For more information, please visit www.wilsoncenter.org/ratiu
Participation in this event is by invitation only. This event will be captured on video and made available through the Elliott School website.
NOTE: hours above are US East Coast times.
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The purpose of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award and Lecture is to bring visibility and international recognition to the ideas and accomplishments of individuals around the world who are working on behalf of democracy. This programme expresses the deep commitment to democracy of the late Ion Ratiu through his contributions as a Romanian politician as well as his interest in democratic change worldwide.
Ion Ratiu (1917–2000) was the most outspoken and consistent voice of opposition to Nicolae Ceausescu, whose regime he opposed for years from London as the democratically elected leader of the World Union of Free Romanians. Journalist, broadcaster and author, he was also a successful businessman.
The 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture at the Woodrow Wilson Center is the fifth event in a series begun at Georgetown University in 2005 and held at the Woodrow Wilson Center since 2006. Past awardees include Sergio Aguayo (Mexico, 2005), Saad El-Din Ibrahim (Egypt, 2006), Anatoli Mikhailov (Belarus, 2007), and Eleonora Cercavschi (Moldova, 2008).
The Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture is organised by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation in London, and the Ratiu Center for Democracy in Turda, Romania.
With the support of the Embassy of Romania in Washington D.C., RH Printing, and DHL.
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