Chee invited to High Level Meeting, PAP bans his travel

Singapore Democrats

Dr Chee Soon Juan has been invited by the Community of Democracies (CD) to attend the High Level Democracy Meeting (HLDM) in Krakow, Poland due to take place next week. The Meeting will be attended by foreign ministers, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The PAP Government has, however, prevented Dr Chee from attending the conference by rejecting his application to travel because of his bankruptcy.

The CD, a global organisation of democratic states, was started in 2000 by former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former Polish foreign minister Bronislaw Geremek to promote democracy and strengthen democratic institutions all over the world. The HLDM to be held from 2-4 Jul 10 commemorates the 10th Anniversary of the founding of the CD.

Singapore is not invited to the meeting because of the undemocratic nature of the PAP Government.

Human rights and democracy activists have been invited to the HLDM to interact with the foreign ministers and to help draw up a roadmap to strengthen democracy worldwide.

Among some of the issues to be discussed at the Meeting are whether economic efficiency trumps democracy and how new technologies can be harnessed to bring about democratic change. 

In his invitation letter the Executive Director of the CD’s Permanent Secretariat wrote: “Your presence as a representative of an international organization committed to the core values of democracy is of particular importance to us.”

Dr Chee had attended the CD’s previous ministerial forums in Santiago, Chile in 2005 before he was made bankrupt by Messrs Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong in 2006. The Government has since rejected all his applications to attend such conferences.


Dr Soon Juan Chee
Steering Committee Chairman
Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia

Dear Dr Chee,

This year the Community of Democracies celebrates an important anniversary – 10 years since over a hundred states signed the Warsaw Declaration. On this occasion, I have the honor of inviting you to attend a “High Level Democracy Meeting” which will take place in Kraków on 2nd – 4th July 2010.

The Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs has extended invitations to over a hundred Foreign Ministers of the Community of Democracies participating and observer states. The event will also be attended by democratic leaders from all over the world as well as by activists, representatives of international non-governmental organizations, academics, businessmen and media. In total about 500 guests will gather at the Kraków High Level Democracy Meeting.

The purpose of the meeting is to renew the Warsaw Declaration and to draw up a roadmap for the international community to strengthening democracy, which will help to set the tasks for the Community of Democracies in the coming years.

The Community of Democracies plays an important role in spreading democracy around the world. It helps to coordinate undertakings of actors involved in promoting democracy, it holds expert meetings and promotes their recommendations. It also serves as a centre providing diplomats with training on democracy and constitutes a unique platform for cooperation between the governments and non-governmental organizations. Furthermore, it spreads knowledge on experience of various democracies from around the world.

The participants of the High Level Meeting in Kraków will have a possibility to attend discussion panels on the following issues: women and their role in building democracy, threats to democracy (such as the world economic crisis), the role democratic activists play in the contemporary world and new technologies as an opportunity for democracy development.

Conference guests are also invited to a ministerial high level segment and discussion panel on the state of world democracy, presided over by Polish Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Radosław Sikorski. Alongside with the meeting, the sessions of the Community of Democracies Working Groups will take place. Moreover, the City of Kraków has prepared an attractive tourist offer for the participants of the Meeting.

I hope the event will provide a valuable forum for the activists and democratic leaders to share their personal experience in overcoming obstacles that they encounter in their everyday struggle for democracy and human rights.

At a time when autocracy is again on the march, we will reaffirm our commitment to democratic values and to the role of the Community of Democracies in supporting democratic processes all over the world.

I would be honored and delighted if you could personally attend the meeting in Kraków. Your presence as a representative of an international organization committed to the core values of democracy is of particular importance to us. Enclosed is a preliminary agenda and additional information about the meeting. In case of any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or my deputy, Mr. Michał Safianik.

Yours sincerely,

Prof. Bronisław Misztal
Executive Director
Community of Democracies
Permanent Secretariat Warsaw

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