NEWS REPORTS


DATE=        AUGUST 31, 1997
TYPE=        EDITORIAL
NUMBER=      0-07423
TITLE=       EDITORIAL:  N-E-D HELPS NEWLY INDEPENDENT STATES


CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 
AUGUST 31, 1997.



ANNCR:
THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE 
VARIETY OF ISSUES.  NEXT, AN EDITORIAL REFLECTING AMERICAN IDEALS
AND INSTITUTIONS.



VOICE:

    THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY, OR N-E-D, IS AN 

INDEPENDENT INSTITUTION FUNDED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS.  IT IS 

ACTIVE AROUND THE WORLD PROMOTING THE TENETS OF DEMOCRATIC 

SOCIETY.  LAST YEAR, THE N-E-D CONTINUED TO FOCUS ON PROMOTING 

THE DEVELOPMENT OF DEMOCRACY ON A GRASSROOTS AND REGIONAL LEVEL 

IN THE NEWLY INDEPENDENT STATES OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION.  A 

VARIETY OF GROUPS WERE AWARDED GRANTS TO PROMOTE HUMAN RIGHTS, 

INDEPENDENT TRADE UNIONS, CIVIC EDUCATION, LEGAL REFORM AND 

BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS.



    THE ENDOWMENT SUPPORTED A RANGE OF PROJECTS IN RUSSIA, 

INCLUDING A NATIONAL NEWSPAPER DEVOTED TO PROMOTING CIVIC 

EDUCATION.  AT THE SAME TIME, THE MOSCOW CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

AND LEGAL CULTURE DEVELOPED NEW HUMAN RIGHTS CURRICULA FOR 

ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS, AND ITS MATERIALS ARE 

BEING USED IN SOME TWENTY CITIES.



    IN UKRAINE, THE N-E-D SUPPORTED A WOMEN'S PROJECT AS WELL AS 

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS NETWORK.  THE 

ENDOWMENT ALSO SOUGHT TO INCREASE THE PARTICIPATION OF YOUNG 

PEOPLE IN UKRAINIAN POLITICS THROUGH A PARLIAMENTARY INTERNSHIP 

PROGRAM SPONSORED BY THE GROUP, YOUTH ALTERNATIVE.



    AS UKRAINE MOVED TOWARD FULL DEMOCRACY, BELARUS SLIPPED 

BACKWARDS TO AUTHORITARIAN RULE.  IN RESPONSE, THE N-E-D FUNDED 

ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS THE INSTITUTE FOR DEMOCRACY IN EASTERN 

EUROPE, WHICH ASSISTS NEWLY CREATED NON-GOVERNMENTAL 

ORGANIZATIONS.  THE ENDOWMENT ALSO SUPPORTED BELARUSIAN 

INDEPENDENT TRADE UNIONS.  USING N-E-D FUNDS, THE FREE TRADE 

UNION INSTITUTE SUPPORTED ACTIVITIES RANGING FROM THE PUBLICATION

OF NEWSLETTERS FOR UNION MEMBERS TO ADVANCED TRAINING BY POLISH 

SOLIDARITY MEMBERS.



    THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY IS ALSO ACTIVE IN MANY 

OTHER REGIONS INCLUDING THE CAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA.  AS 

ENDOWMENT PRESIDENT CARL GERSHMAN SAID, N-E-D WORKS BECAUSE IT 

APPRECIATES THE IMPORTANCE OF IDEAS THAT LINK LIKE-MINDED 

ACTIVISTS AND BECAUSE IT SHARES THE ASPIRATIONS THAT DRIVE PEOPLE

TO SACRIFICE FOR DEMOCRATIC FREEDOM.  AS A RESULT, N-E-D HAS 

BECOME A SYMBOL OF AMERICA'S COMMITMENT TO THE CAUSE OF 

DEMOCRACY. 



ANNCR:



    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL REFLECTING AMERICAN IDEALS AND 

INSTITUTIONS.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE HEARD ON THIS ISSUE, 

PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, D-C, 

20547, U-S-A.  YOU MAY ALSO SEND US A FAX AT (202) 619-1043.  

YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE USED ON THE AIR.



29-Aug-97 10:02 AM EDT (1402 UTC)

NNNN



Source: Voice of America

.