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Carter Center and Atlanta Francophone Consulates Host Human Rights and Democracy Conference

ATLANTA, GA....General Amadou Toumani Touré, the former president of Mali who helped topple a dictator and then stepped down in favor of an elected president, will give the keynote address at the Francophonie 2001: Global Challenges of Strengthening Democracy and Human Rights conference on April 2, 2001, at The Carter Center.

Recent events such as the election in Haiti, a coup attempt in Cote d'Ivoire, and the death of Laurant Kabila in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have all put French-speaking countries in the news. The day-long conference will bring together scholars, practitioners, and government officials to address the progress and challenges of democracy and human rights in Francophone countries.

Other participants include: Burundi Ambassador Thomas Ndikumana to the U.S., Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie Ambassador Ridha Bouabid to the U.N.; Mr. Jocelyn Coulon, coordinator of Francophone programmes at the Lester B. Pearson Canadian International Peacekeeping Training Centre; Mr. Claude Kabemba, senior researcher at the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa; Dr. Johan van der Vyver, Cohen Professor of International Law and Human Rights, Emory University School of Law; and Mr. Jean-Paul Monchau, consul general of France, Atlanta.

The morning session will address the challenges of universalizing respect for and protection of international human rights, followed by a debate on the International Criminal Court. The afternoon session's theme is the challenges of sustainable democracies and supporting emerging democracies and post-conflict societies, followed by a debate on whether democracy is a necessary condition for sustainable development.

The conference is sponsored by The Carter Center, the Consulate General of Belgium, the Consulate General du Canada, the Consulate General of France, the Senegal consulate, the Consulate General of Switzerland, and the Alliance Francaise, a French-American cultural center and nonprofit organization.

The conference is open to the media and public free of charge. Media should register by calling Kay Torrance at 404-420-5129.


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