Strasbourg 5-11 October 2012

World Forum for Democracy


Youth and democracy: the young generation sacrificed?

Session of the Youth Assembly, organised by the Parliamentary Assembly and the Youth Department of the Council of Europe

Young people face increasing difficulties in accessing and exercising their rights. Their autonomy is increasingly threatened as a consequence of economic, geographical and socio- cultural inequalities. At the same time, young people have shown their willingness to act and bring about change towards more democratic societies in which young people are valued and given the space to develop and contribute actively.

170 young people brought together by the Youth Assembly 2012 will debate on themes related to youth and democracy, such as:

  • Democracy and religion
  • Democracy and globalisation
  • Democracy and new social media
  • Democracy and access to social rights
  • Democracy and youth participation
  • Democracy and the role of youth work / youth organisations
  • Democracy and migration
  • Democracy and the inclusion of minorities
  • Democracy and citizenship education

The recommendations will be then transmitted to the World Forum for Democracy by 40 participants, selected to represent the Youth Assembly to the Forum.

Palais de l'Europe : Hemicycle

2:30 pm

Official Opening of the Youth Assembly

Welcoming addresses by:
  • Mr Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the Parliamentary Assembly
  • Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
  • Ms Maria Paschou, Chairperson of the Advisory Council on Youth
Keynote speech by:
  • Mr Howard Williamson, Professor of European Youth Policy, on "Young people's contribution to democracy"

European Youth Centre : Room (to be confirmed)

8:30 pm

World Café: "How do young people practice democracy?"

European Youth Centre : Room (to be confirmed)

9:45 am and 2:30 pm

Youth Assembly : working groups

8:30 pm

Artistic workshops (Democracy through music, painting, theatre etc...)
in cooperation with local youth associations

From 6 to 20 October 2012, Grande salle de l'Aubette

11:30 am

Official opening of the exhibition "Cartooning for Peace"

The official opening of the exhibition will take place on Saturday 6 October at 11.30am in presence of Mr Ali Ferzat (Syria), political cartoonist, Sakharov Prize winner 2011

"Cartooning for Peace" is an initiative launched in New York on 16 October 2006 at the United Nations headquarters following several encounters between then United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and the French cartoonist from "Le Monde" Plantu. On that day, twelve of the most famous press artists in the whole world met to discuss the role of press drawing and caricature as an instant medium of expression and communication without language barriers, at the service of tolerance and peace. In the wake of the fatwas levelled at caricatures of Mahomet, it was necessary to rally Christian, Jewish, Muslim and agnostic draughtsmen to circumvent all forms of censorship that have arisen over the last few years. Fundamentalism and intolerance are taking hold more or less everywhere, and a reaction was necessary though without humiliating believers. Since then, exhibitions have been exported all over the world and the number of artists belonging to the network has been growing continually (130 of 40 different nationalities to date).

Free entrance

European Youth Centre : Room (to be confirmed)

2:30 pm

Youth Assembly : presentation of working groups recommendations

3:30 pm


Debate / Round table

Agora Building : Room G03

Inclusive democracy

Civil society debate organised by the Conference of INGOs with participatory status with the Council of Europe

The INGO Conference brings together NGO representatives from different continents for a debate on the principle of inclusive Democracy which assumes the respect of human rights and a greater involvement of women on one hand and of the media on the other hand in the process of participatory Democracy. The civil society debate will form the basis for the contributions of the civil society representatives in the discussions of the World Forum for Democracy.

9:30 am / 10:00 am

Opening of the Civil Society Debate:

Mr Jean-Marie Heydt, President of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe

Ms Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Introductory speech on inclusive democracy by Mr Jean-Marie Heydt 


10:00 am / 12:00 am

Debate "Inclusive democracy and human rights"

  • Mme Conny Czymoch (Germany), Journalist
  • Mr Larbi Chouikha (Tunisia), Independent Electoral Commission, Tunisian League for Human Rights
  • Ms Annelise Oeschger (Switzerland), International Movement ATD - Fourth World
  • Mr Albert Tevoedjre, Ombudsman of the Republic of Benin
  • Ms Rita Patricio, Amnesty International, Rapporteur

2:00 pm / 3:30 pm

Round table "Building inclusive democracy through media"

  • Mr Igor Kogut (Ukraine), Director of the Kyiv School of Political Studies
  • Mr Peter Lemish (USA) Civil Society, Communication and Media Practices Programme, Southern Illinois University
  • Mr Pavel Marozau (Belarus), Third Way Organisation
  • Ms Lina Ben Mhenni (Tunisia), Blogger "A Tunisian Girl", laureate of the Deutsche Welle International Blog Award in 2011
  • Ms Nadia Bellardi (Switzerland), Community Media Forum Europe, Rapporteur

3:45 pm / 5:15 pm

Round table "Building inclusive democracy through women"

  • Ms Karin Nordmeyer (Germany), Zonta International
  • Ms Corinne Kumar (Inde) Asian Women's Human Rights Council
  • Ms Sima Samar (Afghanistan), Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
  • Ms Sophia Spiliotopoulos (Greece), Lawyer, member of the Board of the Association of Women of Southern Europe (AFEM)
  • Ms Lorraine Spiteri (Malta), Member of the Executive Council, Malta Confederation of Women's Organisations, Rapporteur

5:15 pm / 5:30 pm

Closing session:

  • Ms Sophie Dimitroulias, Vice-President of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe, General Rapporteur
  • Ms Claudia Luciani, Director of Democratic Governance, Culture and Diversity, Council of Europe
  • Mr Jean-Marie Heydt, President of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe


Under the auspices of the President of the French Republic

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