White House Announcement Concerning the Conference on Free Elections

October 19, 1982

President Reagan has invited President Luis Alberto Monge of Costa Rica to participate in the Conference on Free Elections to be held in Washington from November 4 - 6. The President has accepted President Reagan's invitation.

President Reagan will host a luncheon at the White House during the event, which will be attended by other prominent government officials and political figures, scholars, commentators, analysts, and government officials from Australia, Botswana, Colombia, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, El Salvador, Spain, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries. The 3-day international meeting is being cosponsored by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and the U.S. Department of State, in cooperation with the United States Information Agency and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Secretary George Shultz will deliver the opening address on November 4 at the State Department. Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, will present a paper on elections and democracy at another session.

The conference is designed to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas on the strengthening of the electoral processes and basic democratic institutions in many countries of the world. The discussions are expected to explore practical options for encouraging free elections and constitutional governments.

The conference is a direct result of the initiative launched by President Reagan on June 8 in London to promote the growth of democracy and peace. At that time, he declared ``we must take actions to assist the campaign for democracy'' and announced the November meeting.