Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, March 16, 2005

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For IMMEDIATE Release

Promoting Democracy through Diplomacy
Hyde Schedules Thursday Hearing to Examine U.S. Methods of Supporting Democracy Abroad
 

BACKGROUND:  Viktor Yushchenko became Ukraine’s newest leader in January 2005, after peaceful demonstrations helped overturn the former regime’s attempts at fraud in previous presidential elections.  Both supporters and opponents of Yushchenko agree that the $16.8 million provided by the United States in election assistance played a major role in Yuschenko’s victory.  Ukraine’s new government has pledged to fight corruption, reform the judiciary and refrain from pressuring the media to support government policies -- a contrast to the practices of former regimes.  The democratic gains in the Ukraine illustrate the importance and effectiveness of foreign assistance in the promotion of democracies.  These democracies provide a more stable environment, leading to economic gains and, by extension, enhancing U.S. national security.  Each year, billions of U.S. dollars are given to promote democratization around the world.  This money comes from the U.S. Departments of State, Justice and Defense, the Broadcasting Board of Governors and private democracy promotion organizations.  The largest contributor is the United States Agency for International Development, which gave nearly $1 billion for democratization in FY 2004 alone.  Currently, both the House and the Senate are considering their own versions of the Advance Democracy Act of 2005, legislation to more firmly establish democratization as an element of U.S. foreign policy.  Democratization experts will testify before the Committee on International Relations on Thursday. 

WHAT:                              Full Committee Hearing:
                                           Promoting Democracy through Diplomacy

                                           U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), Chairman

WHEN:                              9:30 a.m., Thursday, May 5, 2005

WHERE:                            Room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES                   Frank R. Wolf, Member of Congress;
                                            Paula Dobriansky
, Under Secretary for Global Affairs, U.S. Department of State;
                                            Mark Palmer
, President and CEO, Capital Development Company;
                                            Jennifer Windsor
, Executive Director, Freedom House;
                                            Saad al-Din Ibrahim
, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; and
                                            Edil Baisalov
, President, Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society, Kyrgyzstan.

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