Nelson Mandela Foundation


Standing behind Nelson Mandela, from left to right, are: Cassam Uteem, Ricardo Lagos, Ketumile Masire and Lionel Jospin

Dec 15, 2008 – Former President Nelson Mandela received the first Club of Madrid Democratic Leadership Award earlier today.

The Club of Madrid is an organisation of 72 former presidents and prime ministers which was established in Madrid, Spain in October 2001.

Mr Mandela received the award at his offices in Houghton from Ricardo Lagos, president of the Club of Madrid and former President of Chile; Lionel Jospin, former Prime Minister of France; Ketumile Masire, former President of Botswana; and Cassam Uteem, former President of Mauritius.

The delegation visiting the Foundation included:

  • Maria Elena Aguero, director of institutional relations, Club of Madrid;
  • Sean C Carroll, programme director, Club of Madrid;
  • Clem McCartney: policy and content co-ordinator, Shared Societies Project (a Club of Madrid global initiative that provides leaders with greater understanding of the benefits of social cohesion and the incentives and means to act to advance it);
  • Victor Arango, communications director, Shared Societies Project, Club of Madrid;
  • Ruben Campos, assistant to the programme director, Club of Madrid;
  • John Tesha, executive director, Africa Forum (partner for the Shared Societies Project study missions to Mozambique and South Africa).

The Club of Madrid was launched following the Conference on Democratic Transition and Consolidation (CDTC) at which 35 heads of state and government from Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa met with more than 100 of the world’s most respected scholars and policy experts to discuss the problems of building democracy.

The CDTC looked at eight core issues, including: constitutional design; the legislature and its relations with the executive; the judiciary and its relations with the executive; anti-corruption measures; the role of armed forces and security forces; reform of state bureaucracy; strengthening of political and social pluralism, and of political parties; as well as economic and social conditions.

In four days of intensive discussion between the leaders and experts, the two groups were able to identify areas of agreement and disagreement, and formulate practical recommendations for strengthening democracy around the world.

The Club of Madrid’s primary asset is its members, who offer their experience to assist countries with important elements of those countries’ democratic transition or consolidation.

A distinguished group of scholars, former policy makers and political leaders provides additional advice and assistance on a wide range of issues. The Club of Madrid is supported institutionally by the Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE) and the Gorbachev Foundation of North America (GFNA), the original sponsors of the 2001 conference.