Frequently Asked Questions
What is the International Leaders Forum (ILF)?
The National Democratic Institute has organized an International Leaders Forum at every Democratic convention since 1984 as a way for international visitors to observe the convention proceedings and take part in a series of bipartisan panel discussions on the U.S. political process, foreign and domestic policy issues, and media coverage of the presidential race. The visitors also have a rare opportunity to exchange ideas informally with their counterparts from around the world while getting a unique perspective on an American national political convention. This year, NDI is welcoming about 350 international visitors to Charlotte, including current and former heads of state, ambassadors, ministers, political party leaders and members of parliaments from around the world.
What is the National Democratic Institute (NDI)?
The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization that responds to the aspirations of people around the world to live in democratic societies that recognize and promote basic human rights. Since its founding in 1983, NDI and its local partners have worked to support and strengthen democratic institutions and practices by strengthening political parties, civic organizations and parliaments, safeguarding elections, and promoting citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.
When and where is ILF?
The 2012 International Leaders Forum will be held September 3 through 6 during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC. During the day, ILF panel sessions and events will take place at the Belk Theatre. Every evening NDI will host a hospitality center for ILF participants close to the Time Warner Cable Arena.
Who is invited?
Invitees include current and former heads of state, members of parliament, leaders of political parties, ministers and about 100 members of the U.S.-based diplomatic corps. Invitees represent ruling and opposition parties in both established and emerging democracies as well as representatives of reform movements in nations where democratic governance has not taken hold. In its nonpartisan programs to support democratic institutions and societies worldwide, NDI has worked with many of the ILF participants.
How is ILF funded?
ILF is paid for entirely with private donations. Click here for a list of our sponsors. Participants pay their own airfare, lodging and other expenses.
What is NDI's relation to the Democratic Party?
The National Democratic Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with a loose affiliation with the Democratic Party. NDI does not take a position on U.S. elections and receives no funding from the Party.