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Centre of Governance & Human Rights (CGHR)


28th May 2012

Demand Driven Democratisation – the work of the UN Democracy Fund

Dr Roland Rich (Executive Head of the United Nations Democracy Fund)

The Cambridge International Studies Association (CISA) and the University of Cambridge, Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR) were delighted to announce a talk by Dr Roland Rich, Executive Head of the United Nations Democracy Fund on ’Demand Driven Democratisation – the work of the UN Democracy Fund’. The talk and the discussion following were an opportunity to learn more about the UN’s work in democracy promotion and to discuss it with a practitioner that also works academically. The talk was chaired by Sir Tony Brenton, former British Ambassador to Russia and member of the Governing Body of Wolfson College.

The United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) was established by the UN Secretary-General in 2005 to support democratization efforts around the world. UNDEF supports projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. The large majority of UNDEF funds go to local civil society organizations—both in the transition and consolidation phases of democratization. In this way, UNDEF plays a novel and unique role in complementing the UN’s traditional work—the work with Governments—to strengthen democratic governance around the world. UNDEF is funded by voluntary contributions from Governments; in 2010, it surpassed 110 million dollars in contributions and now counts 39 countries as donors. For more information on the United Nations Democracy Fund and its work, please visit the UN website.

Biography of Dr Roland Rich

Dr Roland Rich served in the Australian Foreign Office for 23 years including posts as Legal Adviser, Assistant Secretary for International Organisations and Ambassador to Laos. He also served in Paris, Rangoon and Manila. Dr Rich joined the Australian National University in 1998 as Foundation Director of the Centre for Democratic Institutions. He has also taught at the Australian Defence University and was a research Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington DC. Dr. Rich has contributed to the scholarly literature on democracy and democracy promotion. In 2004, together with Edward Newman, he edited a publication entitled The UN Role in Promoting Democracy published by United Nations University Press which examined the areas of comparative advantage the UN had in this field. In 2007, Pacific Asia in Quest of Democracywas published by Lynne Rienner – it surveys the current state of democratic consolidation among the countries along Asia’s Pacific Rim. His most recent book, Parties and Parliaments in Southeast Asia – Non-Partisan Chambers in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand is due for publication by Routledge in the summer of 2012. He holds BA and LLB (hons) degrees from the University of Sydney and Master of International law and PhD degrees from the Australian National University.events_2012_rich