This 2018, CALD is marking its silver anniversary with a year-long celebration carrying the theme, “Reclaiming Democracy, Rebuilding Society”. The theme is a recognition of the need for liberals and democrats to make democracy more meaningful for the people, especially in light of the continuing rise of populism, illiberalism and authoritarianism in Asia and in other parts of the world. By making democracy relevant to the needs of the people, particularly the most marginalised and vulnerable, society can be better poised to renew itself and realise the liberal democratic goal of freedom and dignity for all.
The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) was inaugurated in Bangkok in 1993, with the support of then Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai and South Korea’s Kim Dae-Jung. CALD, which offers a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation, is the only regional alliance of liberal and democratic political parties in Asia.