By Leila Nachawati Rego Publisher: APCNews Jakarta,Published on
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APC has a new organisational member! As the APC network’s global advocacy efforts create and strengthen global connections amongst civil society, our membership grows, too. We spoke with Frank La Rue, president of the governing board of Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios para la Democracia Social (DEMOS).
DEMOS (the Central American Institute for the Study of Social Democracy) is based in Guatemala City. Its mission is to promote, strengthen and accompany women’s, youth and indigenous organisations committed to democratic development processes at the local, national and international levels. The current president of the governing board of DEMOS is former UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression Frank La Rue. APC’s Leila Nachawati Rego caught up with him at a freedom of expression event in Jakarta to ask, “What does being a member of the APC network mean to you?”
La Rue responded:
“I have been working with APC since the beginning of my mandate as UN Special Rapporteur in 2008 and it was a great privilege to get to understand the reality and online challenges of so many different civil society groups in various countries through the wonderful network of the people that form APC.
“For DEMOS, being a part of APC is a very important opportunity to share the values and responsibilities of freedom of expression with colleagues around the world who are experiencing the same grassroots struggles. This network builds a global alliance of strength to be able to promote human rights and the principles of freedom of expression.
“The right to freedom of expression has always been a crucial element for the exercise of other rights, but today with the development of the internet and global communications it is becoming yet more important as a global mechanism of information and understanding amongst peoples of the world and an instrument of transparency for all. To build a strong network of APC in Latin America is important, given the fact that our region, with a few exceptions, is lagging behind in terms of the new developments in communications. It is time to have a qualitative leap in the exercise of human rights.”