Tibetan Women’s Association’s Research and Media Officer, Tenzin Dekyi and International Tibet Network’s Asia Coordinator Lobsang Tseten attended the Founding Assembly of the ‘Asia Democracy Network’ and the ‘3rd Seoul Democracy Forum’ held in Seoul, Korea from 21 – 24 October 2013. The meeting was attended by the over 80 civic leaders, democracy activists human rights defenders from all corners of Asia.
The proposed Founding Assembly of the ADN is a joint initiative of Korean Democracy Network (KDN) which is composed of four democracy-related organizations, namely Korea Democracy Foundation (KDF), Korea Human Rights Foundation (KHRF), Center for Korean Women and Politics (CKWP) and East Asia Institute (EAI) in partnership with like-minded civil society organizations and institutions engaged in democracy promotion in Asia, including 15 Organizing Committee members for the ADN’s founding assembly.
This founding assembly of Asia Democracy Network focused on challenges of Democratization to Civil Society in Asia and linked relativity of Democracy to Peace and Development.
The Joint theme of the conference was “Challenges of Inclusive Democratization to Civil Society in Asia; Linking Democracy to Peace and Development” and following are the topics that the conference focused under the theme:
- Peace Building, Development and Democracy in Asia
- Defending and Empowering Civil Society in Asia
- Strengthening Democratic Governance in Asia
- Civic and Democracy Education in Asia
- Poverty, Inequality and Democracy in Asia
The primary goal of ADN is to promote and consolidate democracy and democratic governance making use of international cooperation and solidarity in the fields of information-sharing, capacity-building, research and advocacy, in particular through international engagement in intern-governmental processes and through action-oriented research on democracy. ADN aims to be a watchdog for a mature democracy in Asia.
The conference was concluded with a field trip to Demilitarized Zone, which was very educational and historic place to visit. It has been 55 years since two people and the land of Korea was torn apart by the Korean War. This Demilitarized Zone splits the peninsula into two and even now Korea considers it as a reminder of their nation’s pain and frustration, and also an endangering factor to world peace and a shame to civilization. Nevertheless, the whole area of DMZ is also the historical stage for an incredible ecological revival, bustling with nature and life, which no manpower can substitute. The isolation from wars, conflicts and killings has transformed the territory into a peaceful habitat for wildlife.