Secretary General Speech given at the opening session of the Asia Democracy Conference (ADC)
“Peace and Democracy – Democracy Transition and Social Integration in Asia”
Colombo, 24-25 August 2018
Honorable Vice Chairman of Korea Democracy Foundation (KDF), Mr. Jinwoo Jeong,
Respectful Director of the Institute for Korean Democracy Mr. Hyungsik Shin
Former Secretary General of ADN, Anselmo Lee,
Regional Coordinator of Asia Development Alliance, Ms. Jyotsna Singh and Ms. Yereum Jeong, Researcher of the Institute for Korean Democracy Ms. Geunyoung Park
Friends of academicians, human rights and democracy activist in Asia.
On behalf of the organizers let me welcome you all to the Asia Democracy Conference held here in beautiful Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Thank you for making time to attend this significant event especially during this critical time for democracy in Asia. I am confident that we all gathered here for the same cause which would be to exchange experiences and reconsolidate efforts in promoting and defending democracy in Asia, which is evidently under regression on a number of fronts.
Asia did have some victories when it comes to democracy, such as Malaysia where the electoral movement overthrew the ruling party from power for the first time in 60 years. Despite the small victory in Malaysia, the majority of countries in the region still suffers from repression with many democracy advocates at risk of persecution, arbitrary detention, and forced silence. We as a region of democracy advocates must come together in solidarity in the struggle for peace and democracy.
The Asia Democracy Network recognizes the strength of democratic unity and solidarity in the fight for democracy in Asia. Through regional collaboration, cooperation, and exchange of best practices we will have a fighting chance against the authoritarian regime’s draconian tactics. With the rich and diverse expertise in democracy and human rights represented here today, I believe that we are a step closer to a better democracy for the future.
On this occasion, allow me on behalf of ADN call for unity and solidarity among us to overcome democratic regression and let us share our strength and solidarity for those in need and let us use our liberty to help those that are restricted. .
I thank the organizers for their hard work in putting this opportunity together and I look forward to the fruitful discussions.