Back to overview

Towards a Summit for Democracy

23 April 2021
15:00 CET / 09:00 EST
Online Event

U.S. President Joe Biden pledged in his election campaign to rebuild global alliances, exemplified in a Summit for Democracy, which he said would “renew the spirit and shared purpose of the nations of the free world”. 

To discuss outcomes and activities of a gathering for democracy, International IDEA, the Permanent Secretariat of the Community of Democracies (PSCD) and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) are coming together to start the conversation and pave the way “Towards a Summit for Democracy.” Register here.

In 1995, 14 countries gathered and proposed the creation of a multilateral organization dedicated solely to support democracy worldwide, which gave birth to  International IDEA, currently a global leading organization, with 33 Member States, recognized as a think-and-do tank, designed to “help the world community to respond flexibly to new democratic needs and agendas.” In 2000, the Community of Democracies was created when 106 nations adopted the Warsaw Declaration its founding document, committing themselves to support 19 principles of human rights and democracy. The Community of Democracies has currently 29 Governing Council Member States. And in 2011, the Open Government Partnership was set up to reinvigorate democracy by giving civil society a stronger voice and empowering citizens to shape and oversee more transparent, accountable, and inclusive governments. It now has 78 national members, and a growing number of subnational members.

Despite a broad commitment to democratic values and principles, it is evident that today democracy is facing challenges that have been present for some time but that were unveiled and exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. These democracy challenges have been at the core of the work of leading organizations such as International IDEA, the Community of Democracies and OGP, that deploy significant efforts to address them—to the extent possible—through the development of multilateral policy and legal framework, the facilitation of platforms, the consolidation of high quality knowledge products, as well as the implementation of technical assistance projects in the field, aimed at supporting and advancing democracy worldwide.

Taking into account the long-standing trajectory and global democracy strengthening work carried out by International IDEA, the Community of Democracies, and the Open Government Partnership, this online event will aim to:

  • Enable a conversation around the current global state of democracy, identifying challenges such as democracy backsliding and opportunities for the advancement of democracy;
  • Discuss what actions may be put in place to uphold basic democratic practices and institutions at all levels, that can serve as a roadmap for a conversation at a global gathering for democracy; and
  • Discuss possible outcomes and key activities of a global gathering for democracy.

This meeting will bring together High-level representatives of the three convening organizations, who will share lessons learned from their ongoing work to support democracy worldwide. The event will additionally provide a space to highlight the important value of the three democracy—leading organizations and provide potential ideas for the global Summit for Democracy. A shared commitment of the three organizations is strong support for civil society, which will also join in this virtual event, to share their priorities.

Key outcomes of this online event will be the development of a document with highlights of the gathering, including a set of recommendations on two aspects:

  • The outlook for democracy support going forward and a set of actionable recommendations that may respond to the global question of what can be done to counter democratic backsliding globally, enhance the quality of democracy and understand how to shield democracy during times of crisis. Recommendations provided can serve as a first draft of a bigger global pact to defend and uphold democracy.
  • How the Community of Democracies, International IDEA, and OGP can provide important guidance, engage with and provide key support to the implementation of the Summit for Democracy expected to be implemented by the United States a CoD Governing Council Member State.


Agenda (tentative)

Welcome and technical guidance by Moderator Patricia  Galdamez, Senior Advisor, PSCD
09:05 – 09:20
The First Steps for a Summit for Democracy, Ted Piccone
09:20 - 10:00 
Towards a Summit for Democracy, democracy stakeholder’s perspectives
  • Suneeta Kaimal, CEO of the Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Maria Sarungi- Tsehai, activist, Change Tanzania Movement
  • Maria Baron, CEO of Directorio Legislativo, current civil society co-chair of OGP
  • Thomas E. Garrett, Secretary-General, Community of Democracies
  • Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)
  • Joe Powell, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Open Government Partnership
10:00 - 10:15
 Q&A session
10:15 – 10:20
 Closing Remarks


feedback icon Comments
Thank you for your interest in this event. Please share your experiences.
Close tooltip