FNF at 60: It’s our belief that democracy is never safe

News07.01.2019
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“The Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) was founded with one mission: to promote democracy - provide political education for citizens so they understand democracy, they cherish democracy, and if needed, they defend democracy,” said Moritz Kleine-Brockhoff, Regional Director for FNF Southeast & East Asia region. “We’ve been doing our work for 60 years, and we will continue doing it because it is our belief that democracy is never safe,” he added.

Kleine-Brockhoff assumed the role of regional director in November 2018, and participated in the month-long 60 Years celebrations organized in FNF country offices in the Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In Malaysia, German Ambassador Nikolaus Graf Lambsdorff expressed his wish: It would be great if at least some of the achievements of the 9th of May could become irreversible. The general election in Malaysia on May 9th 2018 saw the triumph of democracy when the opposition unseated the party that had been in power for more than 60 years.

FNF Myanmar presented the Digital Courage Award to Myanmar ICT for Development Organization (MIDO). MIDO promotes digital security, monitors online hate speech and develops counter speech, and produces handbooks on peace mobilization online. FNF recognizes the risks of digitalization, and works towards translating these into opportunities that create a more open society.

Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo reminded the audience to “defend people’s rights in the law especially those who have nothing else but the law.” In her Freedom Speech, she stressed that “As liberals and democrats, our agenda should be clear as day: that our freedoms are theirs, too, and that their fight for these freedoms is ours, too.”

Representatives from government, civil society, and media gathered in the event in Thailand showcasing the wide network and strong partnership that FNF has built all these decades. “FNF stands for Freedom. The letter N stands for Network. And F stands for Future, a modern and forward-looking organization,” said Katrin Bannach, FNF Head of Thailand and Myanmar Office.

The 60 Years program in Vietnam highlighted FNF work in advancing economic freedom. The liberalization of the economy has made Vietnam the fastest-growing economy in the region.

Watch the regional celebrations video here.

As part of the Foundation's 60th anniversary celebrations, videos introducing partner organizations that have supported FNF’s work have been produced. Law and Lipstick, an emotional video featuring Filipino lawyer Atty. Cathy Alvarez of Ateneo Human Rights Center won the Foundation’s global Best Video award.