HIA Poland Director Monika Mazur-Rafał Meets with President Barack Obama

June 07, 2011 | warsaw, president obama

During his visit to Poland on May 28, 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama met with Polish President Bronisław Komorowski and other Polish democracy leaders to discuss the ways and means to strengthen democracy.

The participants in the gathering included high-ranking participants of the Solidarity movement (which led the democratic uprising in Poland in the 1980s), current political party leaders, young democracy activists and representatives of a few select Polish NGOs engaged in promoting democracy and civil society abroad.

After his speech, President Obama spent some time not only shaking hands, but also talking with the young generation of activists. We are proud to announce that Mrs. Monika Mazur-Rafał, the President of Humanity in Action Poland, was among the few invited young activists who had a chance to speak with President Barack Obama in person about the importance of human rights education and activism.

In his speech, President Obama expressed his admiration to ordinary people who were doing extraordinary things. He discussed how best to use the power of ordinary people, carrying the Solidarity movement’s legacy into the 21st century and continuing the spread of the Polish model of regaining freedom in a non-violent way. The President stressed the fact that thanks to their resistance and great courage a meeting like that could take place. He also pointed out that Poland has been a role model for other countries in the region in its fight for freedom and should share these experiences and expertise to support democratic changes in other regions. He emphasized that the stories Solidarity dissidents could tell are so powerful that they could be of great support for other leaders who want to instigate changes. Thanks to this experience, Poland can and should contribute to expanding the stability space which would be for the benefit of Europe, the United States and the world. A viable democracy is not only all about the election, but about the system of institutions where the rights of all, including minorities, are effectively protected.

 

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