A politically active civil society is critical to the sustainability of any democracy. Democracy underpins global stability, human rights and international security. An informed and active citizenry is the driving force behind a genuine and competitive political process.
It also helps build confidence in the system, and public acceptance of election results. Because democratic transitions are rooted in people and movements, sustainable democracy programs cannot be delivered in a top-down, one-off, and short-term manner. To achieve sustainable change, democracy promotion must be a long-range exercise.
To underscore the importance of a strong civil society, in August 2014, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy held the inaugural Asia Young Leaders for Democracy (AYLD) program in Taipei, Taiwan, gathering fifteen committed young democrats and NGO activists from across Asia to visit Taiwan for the two-week program.
Participants attended lectures and discussion sessions led by distinguished scholars and practitioners on a range of topics related to democracy and human rights, benefited from extensive networking opportunities with their counterparts from across the region, and gained an insight into the successful case of Taiwan's democratization as well as the island's rich culture and history through a series of field excursions.
To build on the success of AYLD 2014, the TFD is organizing the program again in August 2015. We are now seeking applications from qualified professionals who are interested in participating in the program.