Back World Forum for Democracy 2023 opens in Strasbourg

Council of Europe Strasbourg 6 November 2023
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World Forum for Democracy 2023 opens in Strasbourg

The 2023 World Forum for Democracy has opened in Strasbourg. Taking place from Monday 6 to Wednesday 8 November the event brings together intellectuals, politicians, activists, experts and young people from all over the world to debate how democracy can give better guarantees of peace. This year’s theme is ‘Democracy = Peace?’, a highly topical question at a time when war has returned to the European continent and the Middle East, democracy is under threat, inequalities are becoming more pronounced, politics are becoming polarised and governments are facing new challenges such as climate change, pandemics and the proliferation of new technologies.

Speaking at the welcoming ceremony, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić said “I believe in democracy. To believe in democracy is to believe in openness, transparency, and debate.

So, we need to ask ourselves not just whether democracy equals peace, but if it is still as effective at delivering peace as it used to be. And if not, why not, and what can we do about that? The future of democracy belongs to you. So, your insights and your experience are essential to deciding how we move forward together and ensure the peaceful future that we all want”.

The programme for the 2023 edition features “Forum talks” on: The truth of war crimes – making use of electronic evidence and open-source intelligence; Memory, memorials and teaching history; Women, democracy and peace; Building peace and democracy across borders; Economics of peace; Sudan’s democratic transition de-railed; International community and democratic insecurity; Learning to wage peace and democracy; Press cartoonist: a profession in danger; Inside Kabul; Seven Winters in Teheran; the 4th branch of government: deliberative democracy.

Ten lab sessions, which will address the challenges from different angles and present some measures which have already been implemented, will help to identify a democratic response to the issues raised throughout the Forum. The Council of Europe’s Democracy Innovation Award will be presented to the most popular initiative put forward in the labs (on Wednesday 8 November, during the closing session).

The Forum is organised by the Council of Europe, in partnership with Strasbourg City Council, the European Collectivity of Alsace, the Grand Est Region and the French Government.