The International Forum for Democratic Studies and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) honored Larry Diamond with NED’s Democracy Service Medal. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice opened the event praising the contributions of Larry Diamond to democracy in countries around the world, saying: “Those who are on the front lines in trying to bring a better life and a more democratic future to their countries have found Larry Diamond as an ally.”
In a conversation on “A Global Turning Point for Democracy,” Tarek Masoud, the new co-editor of the Journal of Democracy observed, “It’s the greatest honor of my life to help carry on this work with the Journal of Democracy and to follow in Larry Diamond’s footsteps.”
A conversation among E. Gyimah-Boadi, Carl Gershman, Francis Fukuyama, and Alina Mungiu-Pippidi also examined how democratic coalitions and solidarity can combat the threat of modern challenges to democracy. As Alina Mungiu-Pippidi said, “Larry Diamond is the first to push further from the notion of consolidation of democracy to the quality of democracy.”
In acknowledgement of his many achievements and contributions to the advancement of democracy and human rights, NED awarded Larry Diamond with the Democracy Service Medal. As Marc F. Plattner, NED Board Member and founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy stated, Larry Diamond brings a deep passion “not only to democracy but to everything he does.”
In his comments, Larry Diamond remarked:
Human nature being what it is, the struggle for freedom and democracy will never be permanently won. This is a moment as we have discussed, of great danger but also opportunity. If we worry and doubt, we should also take pride in all that we have achieved in these last four decades.
About the democracy service medal
The cast bronze medallion, which reads simply, “For Service in the Cause of Democracy,” was first awarded to the former Polish President and founder of the Solidarity trade union movement Lech Walesa, and former AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland. It was presented in April 1999 on the 10th anniversary of the roundtable agreement that led to the peaceful transition to democracy in Poland. It has since been presented to a wide range of individuals who have demonstrated through personal commitment, their dedication to the advancement of freedom and human rights, and to the building of democratic institutions.