The John Smith Memorial Trust
The John Smith Memorial Trust was formed in 1996 to provide a permanent memorial to one of Britains best-loved politicians, the Rt Hon John Smith MP, who died suddenly in May 1994. Less than two years into the leadership of the Labour Party when he died, John Smith was held in high affection by many within and outside the Labour Party, not least because of the obvious sincerity with which he promoted the ideals of democracy, social justice and good governance.
The aim of the Trust is to honour him by promoting the ideals that he held dear. Via the John Smith Fellowship Programme, the Trust unites young leaders across the globe who wish to promote those values.
The Fellowship Programme is aimed at the next generation of leaders in a number of countries previously part of the Soviet Union and in the Middle East - young people of proven ability and real attainments, regardless of their political background. The Programme is designed to introduce young leaders to the institutions and practices of democracy as they have evolved over time in the UK. It seeks to show how a mature democracy supports and develops good governance, the rule of law and the vindication of human and legal rights. It also shows how our form of democracy fosters and supports voluntary and other non-governmental organisations that seek to secure the relief of poverty, to empower disadvantaged groups and to give a voice to those who currently lack political influence. We do not attempt to indoctrinate the Fellows: we seek only to help them to choose the models that will work in their own societies.
The Trust is a registered charity, not a party-political organisation; we have active support from all the major parties in the UK, and from many people and groups who are not active in politics.
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