UN chief backs debate on democracy in Athens

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (pictured at the UN with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras last August) has lent his support to the second Athens Forum 2014, titled “Democracy Under Pressure,” which is being co-hosted by Kathimerini and the International New York Times.

The event is due to be held at the Acropolis Museum and the Stoa of Attalos on Monday, September 15, to coincide with the International Day of Democracy.

“This year, the Athens Forum for Democracy takes place amid volatile events in a number of countries, heightening the importance of strengthening people’s influence on how they are governed,” said Ban.

“Events like the Athens Forum for Democracy are living proof that inclusive participation is not only an end in itself; it prepares communities, societies and entire countries to address opposing points of view, forge compromises and solutions, and engage in constructive criticism and deliberations.”

Among the confirmed speakers at the event are Slovenian President Danilo Turk, ex-Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Deputy Premier Evangelos Venizelos and European Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker have also been invited to take part.

More information on the event is available at