Tag Archives: international office

Africa Liberal Network becomes largest liberal network outside Europe

International Office_with textSupported by the Liberal Democrats International Office, the Africa Liberal Network (ALN) has grown to become the largest network of liberal parties outside Europe, with 47 member parties from across 30 African nations. Taking place from 27 – 31 January 2016, the ALN held its 12th General Assembly in Johannesburg, South Africa, hosted by South Africa’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA).

With the theme of “Winning elections: the strategies, policies and solutions for success”, the General Assembly brought together nearly 80 delegates from 30 countries across the continent to discuss strategies to win elections and champion liberalism in their home countries. Through sharing techniques and approaches to campaign strategy, policy development and youth mobilisation, the ALN focused its efforts on helping member parties to win elections, emerge out of opposition and make liberal government a reality across Africa. Olivier Kamitatu, the ALN President, said in his opening speech:

ALN GA 1

The ALN has grown because Africa is at a crossroads and needs a liberal offering now more than ever. Our goal now must be to win elections across Africa in 2016-17.

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | 1 Comment

Postcard from Tblisi: Visiting our liberal colleagues in Georgia

International Office_with textLast month I travelled with the Liberal Democrat International Office to visit our liberal colleagues, the Republican Party of Georgia (RPG), in Tbilisi – nestled between Russia and Turkey. The occasion was the Republican Party’s bi-annual Party Congress, and the Liberal Democrats had been invited to send a speaker for their discussions on the economy.

Politics in Georgia is a difficult to sum up in a few words. It is East meets West both politically and geographically; a country with a strong European identity but with Soviet overhangs. The Patriarch can condemn homosexuality and hold an open-air mass for the EU in the same week.

The RPG are a junior party in the Georgian Dream coalition government, with relatively few seats but a good chunk of influence. The rest of Georgian Dream leans a bit more populist and at times socially conservative. Fellow liberals the Free Democrats fell out of the coalition in 2014 in a bitter and personal dispute that ended in dubious corruption charges, while former governing party the UNM remain tainted by their corruption and abuses of power during their final term. And in the wings perhaps lies the spectre of pro-Russian political elements – often feared, but rarely seen.

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Fighting for liberalism at home and abroad: Liberal Democrat International Office’s highlights of 2015

International Office_with textWith the current turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa and the rise of nationalism across Europe, the need for a liberal voice in politics has never been greater. It is the goal of the Liberal Democrat International Office to support liberal parties to champion liberalism in their home countries and strengthen our relationships with the party’s international partners. Our work ensures the Liberal Democrats remain at the forefront of the battle for liberalism both at home and abroad.

ALDE group photo

The International Office team (left to right: Harriet Shone, Isabelle Pucher, Nick Thorne, Derya Ozgun and Iain Gill) at the ALDE Congress in Budapest, managing Baroness Ros Scott’s successful election campaign as ALDE Vice President.

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | 2 Comments

International Office welcomes young Liberals from around the world to Autumn Conference

International Office_with textThis year, the International Office is bringing a delegation of eight young liberals from around the world to take part in a Youth Leadership Programme, hosted at Party Conference in Bournemouth.

Our Youth Leadership Programme aims to develop a diverse group of young activists, and especially young candidates for elected office, with strong leadership and political skills and the capabilities to succeed as future leaders.

Participants in this programme come from diverse background and represent liberal parties and groups in Palestine, Egypt, Georgia, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco and Bosnia.

Posted in Conference and News | Also tagged | 2 Comments

International Office to host busiest conference programme yet in Bournemouth

International Office_with text

With European and International affairs dominating the political agenda in the UK, this year’s Autumn Conference is set to be one of the most ‘internationalist’ of recent times. With this global agenda as a backdrop, the International Office is hosting its most extensive conference programme yet!

With the EU In/Out referendum expected within the next two years, and neither of the two major parties willing or able to take ownership of the ‘Yes’ campaign, there is a unique opportunity for the Liberal Democrats to take charge and lead the fight for our continued membership of the EU.

In this spirit, the International Office is hosting a ‘Europe Evening’ from 21:00-23:00 on Sunday 21 September, offering Liberal Democrat members the opportunity to hear from the leading voices in the Party on Europe and to meet and discuss how they can become involved in the referendum campaign in the coming months.

Posted in Conference and News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

International Office promotes women’s and LGBT rights in the Balkans

Belgrade LGBT training

In the run-up to Christmas, the International Office worked with liberal sister-parties in Serbia and Bosnia to promote LGBT and women’s rights across the Balkan region.

In early December, I travelled to Belgrade with Ed Fordham, a leading Lib Dem LGBT campaigner, to meet with our sister-party, the Liberal Democrat Party (LDP). With our support, the LDP has set up a Human Rights Council modelled on the Lib Dem LGBT+ Group, as a champion of the LGBT community in Serbia.

Ed and I held a workshop with representatives of the Human …

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LibDem International Office: Strengthening liberal democracies

GeorgiaAs an accredited party trainer I was intrigued to receive an email last week asking if I would like to provide some training for the  Republican Party in Georgia next month.

It took a moment to register that it was talking about the Georgia to the north of Turkey on the Black Sea and their Liberal party, not the one to the north of Florida and the GOP.

Now I have acted for the party in a similar capacity before, when I met the youthful members of the Liberal Democrat party in Serbia and tried to convince them that an election cannot be won entirely on the Web. Sadly I have a by-election to attend to next month so I will not be offering my services this time.

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