(Note: NAM’s Executive Vice President Jay Timmons is blogging from the National Democratic Convention in Denver this week.)
Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and First Lady Jeannie Ritter were the gracious hosts to a diverse group of international guests at an event sponsored by NAM member company 3M at the Governor’s residence Wednesday.
Jeff Rageth, 3M’s Vice President for Government Affairs, opened by noting that 3M manufacturers in 70 countries around the world and sells products in over 200 countries. American innovation and commerce is key to building strong economies around the world, and 3M is a vivid example of why free trade is good for the United States and the world.
The event was co-hosted by the National Democratic Institute, an organization working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide. As part of its International Leaders Forum, NDI brought observers – party and elected leaders in emerging democracies – to the Democratic National Convention from across the globe to witness democracy in action. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, Navinchandra Ramgoolam, made note of the unique and powerful role that NDI has in promoting democracy and democratic principles. (Side note: Mauritius made news earlier this month as bantomweight boxer Bruno Julie became the first Olympic athlete from that country to ever secure a medal – a bronze).
Last year, I had the opportunity to work with NDI’s sister organization, the International Republican Institute (IRI) when the organization sent me to Cambodia to work with four political parties in developing policy proposals and platforms for their upcoming national elections – something many nascent democracies are not familiar with. NDI and IRI are vital partners in advancing the cause of freedom and democracy around the world. When Americans get frustrated with our political system, we need only look at the struggles of billions who live in the shadow of tyranny and oppression to understand how blessed we are to live in our country.
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