Jimmy Carter Speaks on the Promise and Peril of Democracy

January 25, 2005

The former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mr. Jimmy Carter inaugurated the Lecture Series with the conference "Promise and Peril of Democracy". In his presentation, Mr. Carter urged the OAS to do more to achieve its goals of defending democracy in the Western Hemisphere . The Nobel Laureate
also said that the recent efforts have not brought about the needed reduction in poverty and inequality, and pointed to the growing gap between rich and poor. "When people live in grinding poverty, see no hope for improvement for their children, and are not receiving the rights and benefits of citizenship, they will eventually make their grievances known, and it may be in radical and destructive ways," he said.

Carter’s lecture was followed by a panel moderated by Irene Klinger, Coordinator of the Lecture Series program and Director of the OAS Department of Communications and External Relations, that included Ambassadors Rodolfo Gil, of Argentina; Denis Antoine, of Grenada; Salvador Rodezno, of Honduras; John Maisto, of the United States; and President Chang of San Martín de Porres University from

The conference was presented via videoconference in the FUNGLODE Headquarters in Santo Domingo . In the Dominican Republic , the conference was discussed by the academic Bernardo Vega.

As part of the Lecture Series, a total of 12 conferences will be held this year, covering major topics besides
democracy-such as human rights, hemispheric security and combating poverty. The Lecture Series will continue with other internationally-renowned personalities: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Enrique Iglesias is scheduled for February 8 th ; and, International Criminal Court President Phillipe Kirsch is scheduled for March 31 st.