Over the last several years, the threat and reality of terrorism by non-state actors has grown exponentially, and countries throughout the world are struggling to combat this problem. The importance of developing an effective collective response to this challenge has been recognized by the G8, a group of leading democratic and economically developed nations. The G8 countries have included the issue of combating terrorism in the agenda of their annual summit in mid-July in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Of particular concern to many people around the world is the perceived trend toward using fears about security to justify the erosion of civil liberties and to deprive citizens of their fundamental rights. The tension between the twin necessities of security and individual rights constitutes a key challenge of our day. As all G8 countries face this dilemma, it is essential to begin a dialogue among individuals who analyze national security, and those who are involved with the protection and promotion of civil liberties and human rights. Such real and meaningful dialogue represents a crucial first step towards balancing these concerns so vital to the protection and preservation of democratic societies.

In order to explore these issues, the Woodrow Wilson Center's Kennan Institute, the Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, and the New Eurasia Foundation will host a closed roundtable discussion on National Security and Human Rights in Moscow, Russia, on June 29, 2006, on the eve of the G8 Summit in Saint Petersburg. This conference will bring together more than twenty leading experts from G8 countries, including members of academia, law, public policy, government, nongovernmental organizations, civil society, human rights advocacy, and journalism.

The discussion will focus on analyzing the possibilities for defending national security while ensuring civil liberties and human rights. Anticipated roundtable participants will include: Sir Rodric Braithwaite, Former British Ambassador to the USSR; Sarah Carey, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, LLD, and Eurasia Foundation; Aleksander Cherkasov, Memorial Human Rights Center; David Cole, Georgetown University Law School; Laura Donohue, Stanford University; Yuri Dzhibladze, Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights; Tom Farer, University of Denver; Valentin Gefter, Institute for Human Rights; Morton H. Halperin, Center for American Progress; Alexander Konovalov, Institute for Strategic Assessments; Sergey Kortunov, Committee on Foreign Policy Planning; Tatiana Lokshina, Demos Center; Vladimir Lukov, National Center for Terrorism Prevention; Sarah Mendelson, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Marie Mendras, Centre d'Études et de Recherches Internationales; Andrei Melville, Moscow State University for International Relations (MGIMO); Peter Neumann, King's College; Boris Pustintsev, Citizens' Watch; Boris Putilin, Institute of Military History; Alexander Rahr, German Council on Foreign Relations; Jean-Louis Roy, Rights and Democracy; Jacques Rupnik, Centre d'Études et de Recherches Internationales; Ivan Safranchuk, Center for Defense Information; Michael Thumann, Die Zeit; Ben Ward, Human Rights Watch; and Nikita Zagladin, Institute for the World Economy and International Relations.

A reception following the conference will include guests from G8 member governments and diplomatic representatives, as well as members of the academic, media, and NGO communities.

What: National Security and Human Rights
More than 20 leading experts on national security and human rights from G8 countries
When: June 29, 2006
Where: Katerina Hotel, Moscow, Russia

The Woodrow Wilson Center's Kennan Institute bridges the divide between the world of ideas and the world of public affairs by bringing scholars and governmental specialists together to discuss political, social and economic issues affecting Russia and other successor states to the Soviet Union, seeking always to place these issues within their historical context.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Center establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open, and informed dialogue. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds and engaged in the study of national and world affairs.