International Day of Democracy in Athens: Democracy under pressure


The Athens Forum 2014: Democracy under pressure was organized for the second consecutive year by the International New York Times and Kathimerini newspapers in cooperation with the UN Democracy Fund. 

The full-day programme included a series of discussions at the Acropolis Museum and in the Ancient Agora of Athens -- the birthplace of democracy.  

Speakers included Antonis Samaras, Prime Minister of Greece; Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden; Evangelos Venizelos, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece; Danilo Türk, former President of Slovenia; Costas Simitis, former Prime Minister of Greece; Vuk Jeremić, former President of the United Nations General Assembly; Georgios Kaminis, Mayor of Athens; Dmitry Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center; Roger Cohen of the New York Times; Mathias Müller von Blumencron, Editor, online edition at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung; Nicklas Lundblad,  ‎Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, Google; and Annika Savill, UNDEF Executive Head a.i., who represented UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Her remarks are available here.

Full speaker's lists and webcast are available at  

As the UN Secretary-General said in his message to the, Forum, "Gatherings like the Athens Forum for Democracy are living proof that inclusive participation is not only an end in itself. It prepares communities, societies and entire countries to address opposing points of view, forge compromises and solutions, and engage in constructive criticism and deliberations."  

This year’s programme follows the Athens Forum 2013, the first of its kind marking the International Day of Democracy.