Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou inaugurated the annual international congress “Athens Democracy Forum” at the Acropolis Museum on Wednesday evening. The Forum’s title this year is “Do we dare to hope?” and it will run from September 27 to 29.
In an official online description, it said that “Speakers and panels will explore the great and fateful clash over the future of democratic rule and fundamental freedoms, and the dangerous ideological and political fissures that have opened the world over.”
It added that politicians and policymakers, academics and activists, veterans and youth “will be challenged to advance concrete solutions and programs.” In her opening speech, Sakellaropoulou said, “One of the most important challenges for democracy and our democratic system of governance is the effective tackling of climate change, which has already reached crisis proportions and ‘a state of emergency’.”
The high temperatures of this past summer, the fires and floods, all exert great pressure on democracies, because of repercussions on food security, migration, water shortage, a loss of biodiversity, and natural catastrophes.
The Greek president added that the climate crisis cannot be tackled without making members of all societies aware of how urgent the situation is. Such awareness “will help overcome the obstacle of political cost,” Sakellaropoulou added, while she underlined the importance of applying social and climate justice, leaving nobody behind.
“Time is not on our side. We must immediately assume courageous action,” she urged.