Biden hosts first-of-its-kind global ‘democracy summit’
Democracy Summit being hosted by U.S President, Joe Biden, which began Thursday, December 9, is the first of its type, as it brought together leaders of world democracies for discussions on defending citizens against authoritarianism, combating corruption, and promoting human rights.
“Democracy doesn’t develop by accident,” remarked US President Joe Biden, “We must fight for it, defend it, strengthen it, and renew it. The task of our day is to show that democracies can deliver by improving the lives of their own citizens while also tackling the world’s most pressing issues.”
The Democracy Summit, which ends Friday, brought together heads of state, civil society, philanthropy, and the private sector, as well as world leaders, to listen to one another and their citizens, share successes, foster international collaboration, and speak candidly about the challenges that democracy faces in order to collectively strengthen the foundation for democratic renewal.
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The US State Department has invited 110 people to the virtual event on December 9 and 10, which aims to help control democratic backsliding and the degradation of rights and freedoms around the world. With 39 invitees, Europe leads the world, closely followed by the Western Hemisphere’s 27 countries. With 21 and 17 invitees, respectively, the Asia Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa regions are also well-represented. Only Iraq and Israel received invitations from the Middle East, while South and Central Asia received only four. China and Russia are not on the list because the White House accuses them of having authoritarian inclinations.
The one-of-a-kind event aims to help avoid democratic backsliding and the erosion of rights and freedoms around the world, which has been on the rise for the past 15 years (2005 -2020). To back this up, a new Harvard Institute of Politics poll of young people aged 18 to 29 in 2021 found that the majority of millennials believe democracy is in jeopardy.
Aside from that, some human rights organisations doubt that Biden’s conference will compel the invited international leaders, some of whom have been accused of harbouring authoritarian tendencies, to take real action.
Returning the US to global leadership in the face of authoritarian tendencies of China and Russia is Biden’s main foreign policy goal as well as a compelling justification for hosting the democracy conference.