Last November 9th, at the Club de Madrid Gala Dinner sponsored by Telefónica, President Bill Clinton was given the organization’s Democratic Leadership Award. The gala celebrated the Club de Madrid’s tenth anniversary, and took place in New York City. The award recognizes a leader’s commitment to the consolidation of democratic values, human rights and good governance, and the promotion of sustainable, socio-economic development through democratic means, all of which represent the core values of the Club de Madrid.
This Gala Dinner closed the Club de Madrid’s 2011 Conference “Digital Technologies for 21st Century Democracy”. Michael Bloomberg, New York’s City Mayor, opened the conference yesterday. Arianna Huffington, Arab Spring blogger Anas Qtiesh, representatives from Facebook, Google and Microsoft, advisors and strategists to leaders, plus scholars and other professionals joined 40 former Presidents and Prime Ministers on November 8 and 9, 2011, to discuss the impact that new technologies are having in democracy.
Club de Madrid members and participants set out to identify major action items to provide direction going forward. Members agreed that it was the perfect moment to break with “politics as usual” and listen to the conversation before making any conclusions. During two days of fruitful debate and discussions, many questions arose that will lead to future activities for the Club de Madrid, like:
• Public sector data should be open as a default, but are enough steps being made to challenge private institutions to open their data?
• Even if new technologies are being implemented at lightning speed, how do we handle those being left behind because of infrastructure deficiencies or poverty?
• How do new technologies supplement and enhance the current arguments over how to govern, instead of just creating further divisiveness?
At the Gala Dinner, which has been held tonight in the New York Public Library, leading Members of the Club de Madrid have participated, all of them former Presidents and Prime Ministers. Among them, Kim Campbell (Prime Minister of Canada, 1993), Joaquim Chissano (President of Mozambique, 1986-2005), Vicente Fox (President of Mexico, 2000-2006), Lionel Jospin (Prime Minister of France, 1997-2002), John Kufuor (President of Ghana, 2001-2009), Chandrika Kumaratunga (President of Sri Lanka, 1994-2005), Ricardo Lagos (President of Chile, 2000-2006), Olusegun Obasanjo (President of Nigeria, 1999-2007) and Jennifer Mary Shipley (Prime Minister of New Zealand, 1997-1999). During the act, spanish tenor Israel Lozano dedicated a stunning Nessun Dorma to the Club de Madrid
With this ceremony, the Club de Madrid concludes the celebration of its X Anniversary, ten years of hard work promoting democracy that delivers.
Follow our website for updated information and developments about the conference: www.clubmadrid.org/2011conference.