Timeline and History: 2001-2010

Founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the Atlanta-based Carter Center has helped to improve the quality of life for people in more than 80 countries. The Center, in partnership with Emory University, is committed to advancing human rights and alleviating unnecessary human suffering.

Browse by Year

2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009


Nov. 11: Public health officials confirm significant progress toward the goal of elimination of river blindness in Latin America by 2012 during the 20th Inter-American Conference on Onchocerciasis in Antigua, Guatemala. More than one-third of all Latin Americans at risk for contracting river blindness (onchocerciasis) - a leading cause of preventable blindness - are no longer at risk.

Nov. 7: A Carter Center 30-member international observation team, representing more than 13 nations, finds Guinea's run-off elections marked by peaceful voting and a high level of participation and urges peaceful acceptance of the final results.

Nov. 3-4: The 26th Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy, "A Veteran's Journey Home," examines the unique challenges for mental health care and community reintegration faced by National Guard and reserve veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nov. 1-7: In the largest single event in trachoma control history, the Lions-Carter Center SightFirst project, the Amhara National Regional State Health Bureau, and the International Trachoma Initiative provide Pfizer-donated antibiotic treatment to 10 million Ethiopians at risk for blinding trachoma, while also conducting health education workshops on trachoma and malaria.

Oct. 31: The Carter Center observes the Cote d'Ivoire presidential elections - a crucial step in the country's peace process - noting the high level of voter participation despite an often tense and sometimes violent political campaign.

Sept. 4-10: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter visit China to advance the Center's work to encourage political reform, improve grassroots election procedures, and expand access to information.

Aug. 27: During a private humanitarian mission to North Korea, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter gains the release of Aijalon Gomes, an American teacher who had been imprisoned for seven months for illegally entering the country.

Aug. 16: The Carter Center launches the Database of Obligations for Democratic Elections, the first database consolidating more than 150 sources of international law related to human rights and elections, that can be used by international and domestic election observers to assess elections.

Aug. 1: The Liberia Mental Health Initiative is launched to improve access to mental health services in the post-conflict nation.

June 27: The Carter Center observes Guinea's presidential election, noting voter enthusiasm and turnout, but administrative challenges to be addressed prior to the run-off election.

May 10: Following an initial post-election statement commending the Sudanese people for the generally peaceful polling process, The Carter Center reports widespread irregularities in Sudan's vote tabulation and strongly urges steps to increase transparency.

April 29: Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter launches a publicity tour for "Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis," a book including stories from Mrs. Carter's nearly 40 years of public service and providing an assessment of the state of the mental health system.

April 8: The Center observes Sudan's presidential, gubernatorial, and legislative elections - a mission including more than 60 international observers from over 20 countries, deployed in each of Sudan's 25 states - to assess the electoral environment surrounding polling, counting, and vote tabulation.

March 1: Ecuador becomes the second country in the Americas - after Colombia in 2008 - to stop the transmission of river blindness (onchocerciasis), and the Onchocerciasis Elimination Program in the Americas urges intensified efforts to rid the four remaining endemic countries of the blinding parasitic disease.

Feb. 23: The Carter Center, with International IDEA, launches an initiative to strengthen Andean-U.S. relations and hosts a two-day gathering in Atlanta of approximately 40 representatives from the regions.

Feb. 11: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter visits the last stronghold of Guinea worm disease in Southern Sudan and urges intensification of efforts to wipe out the parasitic disease from the region, which has 86 percent of the remaining 3,190 cases worldwide - and meets with officials in Khartoum and Juba to discuss the country's April multi-party elections.

Feb. 7: Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter leads the African Regional Conference on the Right of Access to Information in Accra, Ghana, hosted by The Carter Center and its partners in Africa.



Dec. 21: Once the most endemic country for Guinea worm disease in the world, Nigeria declares victory in its 20-year fight to eliminate the disease, reducing cases from more than 650,000 in 1986 to zero in 2009.

Dec. 6: A Carter Center delegation of 18 observers from seven countries finds Bolivia's general election generally peaceful, notes that the new biometric registry (voter list) at polling stations served its intended purposes, and recommends Bolivian society and the National Electoral Court continue to build credible institutions.

Nov. 3: The Carter Center and OAS facilitate a meeting between Ecuadorian Chancellor Fander Falconí and his Colombian counterpart Jaime Bermúdez in Cotacachi, Ecuador, resulting in three agreements: reactivation of the Bi-National Border Commission (Combifron), naming of the nations' chargés d'affairs by Nov. 15, and continuation of the work of the Commission of Sensitive Issues with support from the OAS and The Carter Center.

Oct. 8: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and a Carter Center staff delegation travel to Hispaniola to encourage international support for the elimination of malaria and lymphatic filariasis from the Caribbean, following Haiti and the Dominican Republic's launch of a binational plan to eliminate the diseases as part of a Carter Center-sponsored pilot project.

Sept. 1: A study conducted by The Carter Center and the University of California at San Francisco, in partnership with the Ethiopia Ministry of Health, shows that efforts to control blinding trachoma are reducing child mortality in Ethiopia, where child mortality rates are among the highest in the world.

July 20: Ghana, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia announce their elimination of blinding trachoma during a meeting of the Alliance for the Global Elimination of Blinding Trachoma by the Year 2020, the World Health Organization's global partnership on eye disease.

June 8-17: As part of his ongoing efforts to promote constructive dialogue in the region, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter visits Syria, Israel, West Bank, and Gaza following the Carter Center's observation of the Lebanese elections.

June 7: An international Carter Center mission, including 60 observers from 23 countries, observes Lebanon's parliamentary elections.

April 28-30: The Carter Center hosts the Americas Regional Conference on the Right of Access to Information in Lima, Peru, attended by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and including more than 100 high-ranking officials, civil society leaders, and journalists from 20 countries.

April 27-May 4: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter visits Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil to assess Carter Center projects, participate in a regional conference on the right of access to information, and meet with officials to discuss regional themes of importance following the Summit of the Americas.

April 9: The Carter Center deploys a limited election observation mission to Indonesia's legislative elections and congratulates citizens, political parties, and the National Election Commission on a "generally peaceful" process.

March 30: Transmission of onchocerciasis, or river blindness, has been broken in Escuintla, Guatemala - one of the largest endemic areas in the Western Hemisphere to-date to stop the transmission of the parasitic disease.

Jan. 25: A Carter Center mission observes Bolivia's constitutional referendum.

Jan. 10-16: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter travels to China to commemorate the 30th anniversary of normalizing diplomatic relations with Deng Xiaoping and to expand the Carter Center's working relations with government ministries.



Dec. 7: A Carter Center election observation delegation witnesses Ghana's presidential and parliamentary elections and a Dec. 28 runoff.

Dec. 3: Fifty human rights leaders gathered at The Carter Center for the 2008 Human Rights Defenders Forum issue an urgent appeal for President-elect Barack Obama to renew U.S. commitments to human rights principles and practices that have been abandoned since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks against the United States.

Nov. 20: State-by-state policies continue to hinder children's mental health delivery 25 years after a federal plan urged addressing the issue, according to research by the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University released during the Carter Center's 24th Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy.

Nov. 4: The Carter Center hosts a study mission by Chinese scholars and election officials to the U.S. elections in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., areas.

Sept. 30: The Carter Center, in partnership with Haiti and the Dominican Republic, initiatives a plan to accelerate elimination of malaria and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) from the island of Hispaniola, which the countries share.

Sept. 28: The Carter Center observes Ecuador's constitutional referendum, in response to an invitation by Ecuador's Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

June 6: The Carter Center facilitates talks between Ecuador and Colombia on the resumption of diplomatic relations - a dialogue that includes high-ranking members of government and influential members of the media.

April 13-21: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter leads a study mission to Israel, the West Bank, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan as part of the Carter Center's ongoing effort to support peace, democracy, and human rights in the region.

April 10: A Carter Center international election observation delegation observes Nepal's historic constituent assembly elections.

April 2: At a special ceremony held in Abuja, Nigeria, the Carter Center's global Guinea Worm Eradication Program honors Ethiopia, Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Togo for ending transmission of Guinea worm disease in 2007, joining 11 other countries in reporting an end to the parasitic infection.

Feb. 27-29: At The Carter Center, the International Conference on the Right to Public Information, with more than 125 representatives of government, civil society, media, private sector, international financial institutions, donors, and academics from 40 countries, addresses advancements and challenges globally in public information law, later issuing the "Atlanta Declaration and Plan of Action."

Jan. 23: Carter Center and Lions Clubs International Foundation representatives witness a historic moment in trachoma control when the 10 millionth dose of azithromycin (Zithromax®) - donated by Pfizer Inc - is dispensed to a person in Awi Zone, Ethiopia.

Jan. 4: The Carter Center's River Blindness Program and its global partners announce the 100 millionth treatment of Mectizan® (donated by Merck) since 1996.



Nov. 20-24: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter visits Nepal, where he addresses parliament and issues a compromise proposal for successful resolution of the Constituent Assembly and national constitution delay.

Nov. 20: The Onchocerciasis Elimination Program in the Americas announces that Colombia is the first country to interrupt transmission of onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness.

Nov. 5: The Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy focuses on the need to implement preventive measures on a national scale to stop the onset or progression of mental illnesses.

Sept. 30: The Carter Center deploys an electoral observation mission to Ecuador to monitor the country's constituent assembly elections.

Sept. 5-7: Human rights defenders from 20 countries discuss challenges in addressing mass atrocities and develop recommendations for the international community during the 2007 Human Rights Defenders Policy Forum, "Faith and Freedom: Protecting Human Rights as Common Cause," sponsored by The Carter Center and Human Rights First.

Aug. 20: The Carter Center Mental Health Program awards two Romanian journalists with the 11th annual Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism - the first year in which journalists from the Eastern European country will participate in the program.

July 10: Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter testifies before the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee on the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Education Equity Act.

June 30: The Carter Center observes Parliamentary elections in Timor-Leste and declares the vote democratic and peaceful.

June 3: A joint study by The Carter Center and Transparency International asserts that lack of transparency in political financing poses serious problems in eight Latin American countries.

May 18: The Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum, including state leaders, mental health advocates, and consumers, focuses on reducing the stigma of mental illness and develops anti-stigma activities for communities throughout Georgia.

May 4: The Carter Center opens a field office in Ramallah in support of peace for Israel, justice for the Palestinians, and the emergence of a viable, democratic Palestinian state.

March 23: The Carter Center issues "Building Consensus on Principles for International Election Observation," a report outlining the consensus-building process leading to the endorsement of best practices in the field.

Feb. 6-16: A delegation of senior-level Carter Center officials tours Africa, calling international attention to health needs among impoverished communities in Ghana, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.

Jan. 1: The Carter Center begins observing the 25th anniversary of its founding.



Nov. 8-9: Experts in disaster mental health gather for the 22nd Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy to discuss the long-term psychological consequences of Hurricane Katrina and ways to improve disaster planning, preparedness, and response as they relate to mental health.

Nov. 5: The Carter Center observes Nicaragua's presidential, vice-presidential, and legislative elections, its fourth observance of Nicaraguan elections.

Oct. 29: A 45-member international Carter Center delegation observes the Democratic Republic of the Congo's presidential run-off elections.

July 30: The Carter Center deploys a 58-member international election observation delegation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo's first presidential and legislative multi-party elections in 40 years.

June 13: The Carter Center receives the 2006 Gates Award for Global Health.

May 24: Participants in the third Human Rights Defenders Forum, sponsored by The Carter Center and Human Rights First, call for authentic democracy and support for defenders worldwide.

May 11: The 11th annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum examines gaps in the state's mental health services.

April 27: Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter gather at The Carter Center to explore collective steps to strengthening democracy in the Western Hemisphere.

Jan. 25: An 80-person Carter Center/National Democratic Institute observer delegation monitors Palestinian elections in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Jan. 12: The Carter Center and Canadian partners provide Web-based interactive media maps in 12 countries in the Western Hemisphere to increase transparency in campaign financing and strengthen democracy.



Dec. 7-9: The Carter Center's Global Development Initiative convenes global leaders and policy-makers to explore development planning models and aid processes to help close the growing gap between the rich and poor worldwide.

Nov. 2: The 21st annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy convenes to examine gaps in applying medical breakthroughs to the treatment of people with mental illnesses and addictive disorders.

Oct. 31: President Carter, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright unveil the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, agreed to by major election observation bodies.

Oct. 11: The Carter Center and National Democratic Institute observe presidential and legislative elections in Liberia, including the Nov. 8 runoff.

June 7: The Carter Center and Human Rights First host the conference "Human Rights Defenders on the Frontlines of Freedom: Advancing Security and the Rule of Law."

May 15: The Carter Center observes the Ethiopian parliamentary elections.

May 10: The 2005 Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health forum brings together experts and policy-makers to examine the state's move to deliver Medicaid services through managed care programs.

March 22: As part of a planned transition for the governance of The Carter Center, President and Mrs. Carter step down as chair and vice chair of the Carter Center board of trustees, retaining permanent seats on the board, and the board elects John Moores as chairman.

Feb. 26: The Carter Center ends a two-and-a-half year project to strengthen democracy in Venezuela.

Jan. 9: The Carter Center participates in a National Democratic Institute delegation to observe the election for president of the Palestinian Authority.



Dec. 1-2: The Carter Center observes Mozambique's presidential election.

Nov. 2: The Carter Center hosts 35 Chinese electoral officials to observe U.S. Election Day around Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tenn.

Aug. 15: The Carter Center and the Organization of American States observe the historic presidential recall referendum in Venezuela (believed to be the first presidential recall vote in the world) and confirm the Venezuelan National Electoral Council's finding that President Hugo Chavez won the vote.

July 13-30: More than 300 corporate volunteers and members of the diplomatic community in Atlanta join Carter Center staff to assemble 30,000 medical kits to use in the effort to eradicate the last 1 percent of Guinea worm disease left in the world.

July 5: The Carter Center observes Indonesia's historic election, in which voters for the first time directly choose their president, find voting to be well-organized despite some concerns.

March 13-14: The Carter Center and its partners hold a conference for nongovernmental organizations in Georgetown, Guyana, marking the completion of the Center's program, which began in 2000, to improve the influence of civil society on public policy and to strengthen the administration of justice in Guyana.

Feb. 4: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter, and senior officials from The Carter Center, Director-General of the World Health Organization Dr. LEE Jong-wook, and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF Kul C. Gautam make a historic visit in to the endemic Guinea worm village of Dashie in Ghana to urge eradication of Guinea worm in the nation. Additional stops in Togo and Mali also highlighted the need to eliminate the last 1 percent of Guinea worm disease remaining worldwide and to launch the Development and Cooperation Initiative, a multiyear effort to help reduce poverty in Mali.

Jan. 25-27: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter travels to Caracas, Venezuela, on behalf of The Carter Center to advance the Peace and Democracy Accord and to continue trying to help resolve Venezuela's political crisis.



Dec. 17: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter travel to Bolivia to meet with President Carlos Mesa, political party leaders, and legislators to discuss citizen participation in political dialogue and the role of access to information in strengthening Bolivia's democracy.

Dec. 1: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Carter Center Conflict Resolution Program Director Matthew Hodes attend the signing of the Geneva Accord, an unofficial peace accord outlining a path to peace in the Middle East.

Nov. 21-24, Nov. 28-Dec. 1: The Organization of American States and The Carter Center observe the two collections of recall signatures in Venezuela.

Nov. 17: The Carter Center monitors the Mozambique municipal elections as part of a larger electoral assistance project leading up to observation of the 2004 national elections.

Nov. 12: U.N. Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharan and U.N. Special Representative to the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders Hina Jilani join former U.S. President Jimmy Carter at The Carter Center for the conference "Human Rights Defenders on the Frontlines of Freedom" to address backsliding on human rights since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

Nov. 9: A Carter Center election observation team monitors the Guatemalan presidential, congressional, and municipal electoral process, and later the Dec. 28 second round of national elections.

Nov. 5-6: National health experts and policy-makers gather at the 19th annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy to identify ways to implement recommendations from the report of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.

Sept. 17: Egyptian, Israeli, and U.S. negotiators who forged the Camp David Accords join former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in Washington, D.C., on the 25th anniversary of the peace agreement to discuss lessons learned for peacemaking and how they can be applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today.

Sept. 8-9: President Carter opens a Beijing conference on China village elections and meets with government officials in support of the Carter Center's project to improve electoral procedures of the villager committees.

June 25: Representatives of The Carter Center attend a ceremony in Mozambique marking the presentation of recommendations for a long-term development vision and strategy for the country, an effort supported by the Center's Global Development Initiative.

May 16: The Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum explores the establishment of performance measures to improve the state's mental health services.

March 28: A pre-election assessment team of The Carter Center and National Democratic Institute urges Nigeria to improve electoral procedures and processes for the forthcoming presidential election.

March 17-19: Current and former leaders from the Americas join former U.S. President Jimmy Carter at The Carter Center for the conference "Financing Democracy in the Americas: Political Parties, Campaigns, and Elections."

March 13: The Carter Center's Mental Health Program, in conjunction with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, holds a conference to address funding for mental health treatment in Eastern Europe.

Jan. 20: President Carter meets with government officials and opposition groups in Caracas, Venezuela, to seek options to resolve the nation's political crisis.



Dec. 27: The Carter Center observes Kenya's national elections.

Dec. 13-16: The Carter Center becomes the first international organization to observe county-level elections in China, the highest level of direct elections.

Nov. 6-7: The 18th annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy addresses the mental health implications of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Oct. 16: A Carter Center delegation observes Jamaica's elections.

Oct. 11: The Norwegian Nobel Committee announces the award of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize to President Carter for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development. He accepted the award in Oslo, Norway, on Dec. 10.

Oct. 5: Rosalynn Carter becomes only the third first lady to be inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, N.Y., joining Eleanor Roosevelt and Abigail Adams.

Sept. 9: Representatives from the Organization of American States, the United Nations Development Programme, and The Carter Center visit Venezuela in response to an invitation from the government and various opposition groups.

July 6: President Carter travels to Caracas, Venezuela, to meet with political and civil society groups to discuss a process for helping to resolve the nation's political crisis.

May 21: The Carter Center hosts the seventh annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum, "Georgia Suicide Prevention: Healing and Hope."

May 14: A Carter Center team observes Sierra Leone's first post-conflict presidential and parliamentary elections, which were peaceful with high voter turnout.

May 12-17: Accepting an invitation from Cuba's President Fidel Castro, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter head a Carter Center delegation to Cuba, making Carter the first seated or former U.S. president to visit Cuba since the 1959 Cuban revolution.

April 12: After visiting 12 of the 13 districts and meeting with political parties, domestic observers, and members of the community, The Carter Center praises East Timor's Independent Election Commission for its impressive preparations for presidential elections and reassures citizens that their vote will be held in secret.

Feb. 21-22: World leaders convene at The Carter Center to address challenges to overcoming global poverty and call for increased commitment of resources by the international community.

Jan. 22-24: More than 60 experts convene at The Carter Center to determine how to eradicate river blindness in the Americas.



Dec. 26: The Carter Center observes Zambia's presidential election.

Nov. 7-8: The Carter Center's annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy calls on parents, teachers, and health care providers to address a "national crisis" in children's mental health.

Nov. 4: A Carter Center delegation observing Nicaragua's presidential election finds that though the election is smooth and fair, the behind-the-scenes politicking to determine party eligibility reveals institutional weakness, and Nicaragua is urged to refine its political institutions.

Sept. 3-5: President Carter and Center staff visit China to discuss with leaders their progress in holding elections for local officials in villages nationwide.

Aug. 30: The Carter Center's international observer delegation commends the people of Timor Lorosa'e for their massive and peaceful election participation and the Independent Election Commission and the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor for an efficient and peaceful Constituent Assembly electoral process.

Aug. 7: A delegation from The Carter Center and the National Democratic Institute obtain commitments from the leaders of the two main political parties in Bangladesh for a more democratic and peaceful parliamentary election as well as a more stable political environment following the polls.

July 9: For the first time, two international fellows - from New Zealand -are among the recipients of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism.

June 20: Leaders of Atlanta's multinational corporations join President Carter at The Carter Center for a conference on international business practices and corruption, marking the launch of the Carter Center's Council for Ethical Business Practices.

June 3: The Carter Center and The National Democratic Institute's delegation to the 2001 Peruvian presidential run-off election find the election to be peaceful and well-administered in a dramatic contrast to the fraudulent and illegitimate process of 2000.

May 22: The Carter Center, along with its partners Health and Development International, Hydro Polymers of Norsk Hydro, and Norwegian Church Aid, begins blanketing Sudan with 9 million pipe filters - one for every man, woman, and child at risk - to combat Guinea worm disease.

May 17: The Carter Center hosts a forum on mental health care of children in Georgia's juvenile system, bringing together mental health leaders from throughout the state.

May 7: The Carter Center receives the American Psychiatric Association's Distinguished Service Award in recognition of its efforts to address key public policy issues and develop initiatives to reduce the stigma of mental illness.

April 8: The Carter Center, along with the National Democratic Institute, praises the Peru elections and makes recommendations to ensure a free runoff.

March 19: The Carter Center observes the Guyana election, finding it free and fair, while urging Guyanese to recommit themselves to peace and mutual respect, develop inclusive institutions of governance, and build a civil society that supports constructive political relations.

March 8: The Carter Center hosts the conference "Francophonie 2001: Global Challenges of Strengthening Democracy and Human Rights."


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