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Fidel Ramos gives democracy address



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M ED IA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

FID EL R A M O S G IV ES D EM O C R A C Y A D D R ESS

AA97 26 November 1998

I am delighted to announce that H.E. Mr Fidel V. Ramos, President of the Philippines from 1992 -1998, will deliver the Inaugural Annual Address of the Centre for Democratic Institutions (GDI) at Parliament House on Thursday, 26th November.

The CDI was set up by the Australian Government to help developing countries establish and strengthen democratic institutions and practices. I announced this initiative last year. It gives effect to the Government’s commitment to good governance and human rights, particularly in the Asia Pacific.

It has been my intention to have the Centre encourage an exchange of ideas and experiences about democracy in the region. I can not think of a more qualified individual to launch this process than H.E. Mr Fidel Ramos.

Mr Ramos is one of the great statesmen of the region. He has served his country admirably as a soldier and a leader. He played a key role as Defence Secretary in defending democracy in the Philippines in the difficult period when his predecessor, President Cory Aquino, was in power. He then smoothly handed the reigns to his successor, President Joseph Estrada, and agreed to remain as a Presidential Adviser.

Mr Ramos’ address is an auspicious launch for CDI. I am pleased the Address will be delivered at Parliament House. While the CDI is based at ANU, it has been my vision that the CDI would integrate itself in the wider community, including the parliamentary community.

CDI has been established in the Research School of Social Sciences of the Australian National University and draws on the resources of the ANU and Murdoch University as well as the major institutions of Australian government for its work in assisting developing countries. The Australian Government has committed $5 million over the next

five years to establish and run the CDI.

Media contacts: Innes Willox (Minister’s Office) 02 6277 7500 / 0414 206 890 Deborah Nesbitt (AusAID) 02 6206 4966/ 0417 683 767