George Shultz and Madeleine Albright to be Honored June 4 in Los Angeles
National Endowment for Democracy to Mark 30th Anniversary of Reagan Speech with June 4 Medal Presentation at Hotel Bel-Air and June 5 Conference at Reagan Library
WASHINGTON, May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) will honor former Secretaries of State George P. Shultz and Madeleine K. Albright with the presentation of the Democracy Service Medal at a June 4 gala dinner at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, and will feature Albright and Shultz the following day at a June 5 conference on “Democracy in the World after Thirty Years,” at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA, co-sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and the Pacific Council for International Affairs.
The events will mark the 30th anniversary of one of President Ronald Reagan’s most enduring speeches known commonly as the “Westminster Address,” which he delivered to the British Parliament on June 8, 1982. The speech predicted the triumph of democracy over Soviet Communism and launched the effort to establish the National Endowment for Democracy.
“Secretary Shultz was there at the creation of the Endowment playing a crucial role in launching America’s efforts to assist the spread of democracy abroad,” said NED president Carl Gershman. “Madeleine Albright has made enormous contributions to advance this vision as well – both in government as UN Ambassador and Secretary of State, and out of government as Chairman of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), one of NED’s four core grantees. These two outstanding American diplomats embody the bipartisan spirit of the Endowment, reflected in the collaboration of President Reagan in the White House, and Democratic Congressman Dante Fascell on Capitol Hill, who worked together to make the idea of NED a reality.”
The medal presentation will be made by NED chairman Hon. Richard A. Gephardt, former Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. The medal, which reads “For Service in the Cause of Democracy,” was first presented to Polish President Lech Walesa and AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland in 1999. Other recipients include Vaclav Havel, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and the late Congressman Tom Lantos.
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan is the honorary chair of the event, which is co-chaired by Ambassador Robert H. Tuttle and Maria Hummer-Tuttle, and Marc B. Nathanson and Jane Nathanson. Amb. Tuttle serves as Treasurer of the NED Board of Directors and Mr. Nathanson is a Vice-Chairman of NDI. Proceeds from the dinner will support the Seventh Global Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy, which will bring together some 550 democratic activists to exchange experiences and ideas and to build networks of support for democracy worldwide, in Lima, Peru, October 14-17, 2012.
The June 5th conference will feature a conversation with Secretary Albright and former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo focused on the progress of Democracy Assistance since the Westminster Address. A second panel will feature the perspectives of democratic activists from Tunisia, Ethiopia, Ukraine and China, focusing on current struggles for democracy.
The conference will conclude with a luncheon address by Secretary Shultz. During the lunch program, NED will also pay tribute to former California Congressman and SEC Chairman Hon. Christopher Cox for his service on the NED Board of Directors.
The National Endowment for Democracy is a private, nonprofit, bipartisan foundation created in 1983 to strengthen democratic institutions around the world. It is active in more than 90 countries, supporting grassroots, democratic initiatives. More information about NED can be found at www.ned.org.
SOURCE National Endowment for Democracy