Roundup: Democracy can be achieved by various approaches -- experts

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GENEVA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Western model is not the only path to achieving democracy and human rights, and the common goal of democracy can be realized by diverse approaches, experts said here at a webinar on Thursday.

The webinar, focusing on democracy and human rights, was co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of China and Russia in Geneva.

Experts agreed that no one has or should have the monopoly over defining or interpreting democracy for others.

Li Shimo, a Chinese venture capitalist and political scholar, said democracy's normative goal must be to deliver satisfaction to a vast majority of the people.

Zamir Akram, chair-rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council Working Group on the Right to Development, said there are different ways and paths leading to the same objective which is basically to empower the people.

Marcos Cordeiro Pires, associate professor of Brazil's Sao Paulo State University, said it is arrogant of Western countries to think that the Western political and economic model is universal and the only one that can lead to the fulfillment of individuals, he said.

Natalia Narochnitskaya, a Russian historian and political expert and President of the Foundation for the Study of Historical Perspective, said the Western attempts to monopolize ideology is against the common values and interests of the human society.

Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a public intellectual and chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, focused his presentation on China's "whole-process people's democracy," saying such democracy involves absorbing public opinion via feedback mechanisms, a "pooling people's wisdom process." Enditem

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