This gathering, organized by the Club de Madrid and the Community of Democracies with the financial support of the Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) is based on the request from Tunisian representatives and follows the planned three previous face-to-face LEND (Leaders Engaged on New Democracies) Network meetings in Tunez, Moldovia and Sweden. It will serve to directly discuss with the Tunisian representatives key issues on the current process of drafting their new Constitution.
Further to this, international experts and Moldovan LEND network members directly involved in their own Constitutional Process will participate in the event, and provide their experience and lessons learnt to the Tunisian representatives. This aspect was one of the most valued by the participants in the previous LEND meetings: the opportunity to discuss with their peers from other countries on their own experience while going through a similar process.
The LEND initiative, led by the Communicity of Democracies, leverages high level expertise from the Club de Madrid and 21st century technologies developed by Google, Spontania and OpenText to connect leaders who have successfully navigated the challenges of democratization with leaders in emerging democracies. It will augment face-to-face meetings with ongoing peer-to-peer exchanges via a sophisticated, secure virtual platform.
-Beginning in 2012, the project is aimed to provide peer advice, peer support and capacity building to political leaders and policy makers in Eastern Europe and North Africa. The LEND Network will generate the following outputs:
-A secure, self-perpetuating community that operates in a largely virtual setting with the goal of sharing information and expertise about democratization.
– The project will deploy tools for online voice, video, and text communication along with new translation technology to address the cost and logistical barriers that have limited such efforts in the past.
Sustained participation from a user base that brings together world class experts representing more than twenty countries.
The LEND Network is filling a crucial need. Currently, there is no mechanism to facilitate real-time information sharing between leaders in new democracies and leaders that have successfully navigated the challenges of democratization. A global forum for exchanging information and expertise on democratization will support leaders as they work to build strong, accountable institutions and establish the rule of law.