The Rafael del Pino Foundation hosted Bill Richardson's Keynote Lecture "Perspectives on Democracy and Freedom in the World" on 16 September 2010.
Bill Richardson stated that "democratic countries have to work together against the great challenges facing the world: drug trafficking, climate change, terrorism, the Taliban... It is important to act multilaterally through the United Nations and the joint efforts of democracies to respond to these issues that affect us all. If we don't do it together, we will fail".
Regarding the democratic impulse in the world, Bill Richardson argued that "democracies must push their values: respect for human rights, the holding of free elections... the ideals of countries like the United States or Spain must be pushed forward. We have to win the ideological battle first, before the military battle against the Taliban or the terrorists. That is why it is important that we respect our ideals: human and civil rights, democracy; that is why respect for our traditions and ideas is so important. With that, we will not only be able to win over the fanatics; we will also gain more support for democratic ideals all over the world. The Western system, such as the one we enjoy in our two countries, cannot be imposed directly; it is not exportable. But its ideals are: free elections, respect for human rights, eradication of torture, free press, individual freedoms... these can be exported, so that each country can decide how to use these principles. That is why it is important to promote these ideals and perhaps not so much the model of democracy in the West as a system to be imposed. Those ideals and principles, together with multilateralism and countries working together... that's what's important."