Tag Archives: liberal international

Liberal International, Moroccan-style

Jonathan Fryer (right) with Hakima El Haité, President of Liberal InternationalFour of us UK Liberal Democrats were given a brief break from general election campaigning these past few days with a meeting of the Executive Committee of Liberal International (LI) in the Moroccan city of Fez. LI now has a Moroccan President, a former Minister of the Environment, Hakima El Haité, and its Secretary General, Gordon Mackay, was previously a South African MP. So although the organisation’s HQ is still located in the bowels of the National Liberal Club in London, the …

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Assisted dying – an expression of individual freedom

This resolution proposed by PLC, Partido Liberal de Chile and supported by D66 of Netherlands and LIBG Liberal International British Group was hotly debated during the Human Rights Committee session at the 200th Executive Committee meeting of Liberal International held at the headquarters of the Free Democratic Party of Germany in Berlin this weekend.

Despite strong reservations from several delegates to the original wording and a proposal to refer back, a ŷlast minute re-write during the session which addressed all of the reservations expressed led to success, with a large majority of delegates voting for the resolution during the following …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged | 7 Comments

News from the Liberal Democrats International Office

The Liberal Democrats took an active part in the 199th Liberal International Executive Committee meeting in Johannesburg in October. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Better Governance: Liberal Answers to Twenty-first Century Challenges”.

Delegates adopted resolutions on freedom of belief, tackling the persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya, and the rise of authoritarianism in Cambodia. The delegates elected a new Secretary General of LI, Gordon Mackay. He is a Member of the South African Assembly for Democratic Alliance.

Liberal Democrat Party President Sal Brinton held a number of meetings with key individuals at Liberal International, ALDE and …

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Liberal International, Dictatorship and the United Kingdom in 2017

Global war followed the descent into dictatorship in parts of Europe in the 1930s. The horrors of WW2, and the dark shadow of communism that fell over east and central Europe and USSR subsequently, led to the consolidation of liberal ideals in the freer world.

A reassertion of liberal and democratic ideals and the principle of human rights was expressed in the Oxford Manifesto in 1947 at Wadham College, Oxford and in the creation of Liberal International. It was the first modern declaration of liberal and democratic principles following the defeat of Nazism, principles which contrasted starkly with the totalitarian tenets of Soviet communism.

The successor of the Oxford Manifesto was the Universal Declaration of Human rights by the UN (UN UDoHR) in 1948; a beacon for democrats and liberals the world over, since. The Oxford Manifesto and the UN UdoHR provided a common reference point for political parties across the globe who bravely opposed dictatorship and corruption, enabling Liberal International to shed light on oppression and authoritarianism and support those parties.

There were high hopes after the fall of communism in 1989 and 1991, that essential principles of liberalism, democracy and human rights would take hold in much of the world.  However, the rise of authoritarian populism a decade ago has threatened that progress.

Advocates of liberalism and democracy have fought back against this new wave of pro-dictatorship populism.  In April 2017  Liberals from around the world came together on the same spot at Wadham College, University of Oxford, where Liberal International was established 70 years earlier. A new Oxford Manifesto was born, addressing this new wave of authoritarianism and reaffirming liberalism in this more modern context.

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Liberal International: meanwhile, in a small country far away…

Good morning, and welcome to Liberal Democrat Voice’s coverage of the 70th Anniversary Congress of Liberal International from sunny Andorra.

Liberals from around the world have gathered in the Co-Principality to talk about human rights, debate the big global issues of the day, elect a new Bureau and, most importantly, formally adopt a newly-updated “Liberal Manifesto” which aims to express how liberal values and ideas are relevant in a rapidly changing world. For, whilst policies are forever evolving in the face of events, values offer insight into the types of solutions on offer.

The …

Posted in Europe / International and News | 2 Comments

Yabloko: Keeping Russia’s Liberal flame alight

Last September an all too rare event could be seen at the exits of some Moscow metro stations: young people were dishing out leaflets in a campaign for candidates in the municipal elections of that year. They stood before stalls and banners emblazoned with a green circle intersected by a red wedge: the emblem of the Russian United Democratic Party – Yabloko.

Whilst ever more stereotyped as a `centre of illiberalism`, the Russian Federation can boast its own liberal heritage – and one that culminated in the short-lived provisional government of early 1917. Yabloko might be viewed as the contemporary legal and constitutional heir to that facet of Russian history.

Yabloko (`apple`) emerged in 1993 and became an official political party eight years later. They adopted a unique stance of supporting the post-Soviet democratic reforms yet criticising Yeltsin’s authoritarianism and his so called `shock therapy` privatisation drive. Without doubt, they are something of a voice in the wilderness in the climate of sociocultural conservatism in Russian society.

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Liberal International’s African Reach

When Liberal International was founded in Oxford nearly 70 years ago it was very much a European affair. With the noble exception of Canada, Liberal parties and values were largely confined to northern Europe, but since then the picture has changed dramatically. As we in Britain lick our wounds from the double whammy of the Brexit vote and the triumph of Donald Trump in the United States let us take comfort from the fact that the Liberal family is growing worldwide. This was dramatically illustrated by the Liberal International (LI) Executive in Marrakesh, at which five new African parties – …

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Introducing Liberal International British Group

New members have been asking about Lib Dem organisations that they can join.  You are welcome to submit similar items on behalf of other organisations.

liberal-international-british-group-logoLiberal International British Group (LIBG) is the body for Liberal Democrats interested in international issues.

All too often, the pressures of local campaigning mean that there is little room in constituency parties for any discussion of international topics, and few outlets for those members whose political interest stretch beyond the UK.

LIBG holds speaker meetings on the situation in other countries several times a year in London and now also has branches in the north west, the midlands and Scotland, which organise their own activities.

Our recent meetings have included EU migration, the impact of radical Islam, a showing of the film Lakshmi about trafficking of women in India and discussion meetings on Ukraine and Egypt

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Opinion: Liberal Internationalism

During Nick Clegg’s Q&A session at the Spring Conference in Liverpool there were three questions that in their different ways touched on Liberalism in the international environment. Ones on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), NATO spending and Hong Kong. Nick’s replies were I reminder of why Liberalism is best placed to shape the 21st Century.

With much of the Middle East in turmoil and Russia busy advancing into Ukraine, it is perhaps superfluous to point out that Liberalism is not yet a universal creed – and there is also China. Home to a millennia old Legalist tradition, which practiced totalitarianism …

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Gibraltar: Lib Dem MEP Graham Watson calls on EU Commission President to intervene

GibraltarSelf-determination — the right of nations to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or interference — is a pretty fundamental principle of international law.

It’s the basis on which British sovereignty in the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar is founded. 11 years ago, the people of Gibraltar were asked in a referendum if sovereignty of the territory should be shared between the UK and Spain: 98% said no.

So it’s little surprise that the past weeks’ sabre-rattling by a Spanish government desperate to distract …

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Opinion: Lib Dems should promote Somaliland’s case for international recognition

While Scottish Liberal Democrats are playing a full part in the debates about the country’s constitutional future, they should not forget problems facing other less fortunate small lands.  The plight of Somaliland is a case in point and is exercising the Scottish branch of Liberal International.

The first problem Somaliland confronts on the world stage is that people confuse it with lawless Somalia.  It is an immediate neighbour and shares Somali culture but is largely peaceful and enjoys a recent record of solid democratic progress.  So are its achievements in the troubled Horn of Africa lauded?  Not a bit of it, …

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Tributes to David Griffiths

Nick Clegg has paid tribute to David Griffiths, former Chair of the Liberal Democrat Federal Finance Committee, Treasurer of Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party, who died earlier this month:

David Griffiths who had served the Liberal Democrats loyally over the years passed away aged 70 on the 3rd September 2011.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the many years of dedicated service David gave to the party. His many varied roles included being Chair of the Liberal Democrat Federal Finance and Administration Committee and Treasurer of Liberal International a role which reflected

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Tunisian Liberals excluded from country’s new political process

The confused situation in Tunisia has seen a provisional government formed from which the country’s liberals, the Social Liberal Party, has been excluded. Only representatives of socialist groups and the former ruling party have been given places in the new government,

The Social Liberal Party is a member of Liberal International, which has protested at its exclusion and pointed out that a functioning democracy cannot be formed while all but one part of the political spectrum is omitted from the process. The party’s website is in Arabic only.

Liberal International’s responses can be seen here.

Ronald Meinardus, director of …

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