STOCKHOLM—A new Global Democracy Coalition of more than 47 democracy organisations and 250 activists, academics, think tanks, media organizations, students, politicians, philanthropic organizations and democracy assistance providers from the United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa gathered on 7 December ahead of the Biden administration’s Summit for Democracy on 9 and 10 December.
Marking the largest non-governmental summit event, the forum brought together a wide range of voices -- including from closed non-democratic contexts such as Myanmar, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Vietnam among others -- to commit to concrete action to strengthen and renew democracy worldwide.
Summit organizers from the United States administration and some participating countries such as Sweden and Canada stressed the importance of this informal gathering to enrich the conversations of the official Summit through video messages. Over the course of over 40 webinars involving participants from over 50 countries, the forum focused on key recommendations, here, which were handed over to the Biden Administration ahead of the Summit.
The Forum’s many recommendations focused on the importance of redesigning multilateral mechanisms to more effectively address impunity and human rights abuses of authoritarian regimes against their population, democracy activists and journalists. It proposed reorienting democracy assistance programmes to better support democracy defenders and independent voices inside and outside of authoritarian contexts and to address challenges of a global character such as transnational repression and surveillance and corruption and illicit money flows.
The Forum also focused on how to to place democracy at the center of the global agenda on issues ranging from the integrity of elections, women’s political participation and representation, disinformation, malign finance, transnational repression, the state of democracy globally, in the United States, in Africa, Latin America and in Asia and the Pacific, the role of youth, democracy and development, freedom of expression and the role of a free media, and political finance, among many others.
All the recordings of the webinar sessions and information on partner organizations can be found here.
US President Joe Biden’s Summit for Democracy, gathering around 100 countries on 9 and 10 December to discuss the challenges facing democracy, comes at a crucial time for democracy, which faces the headwinds of authoritarianism and democratic backsliding around the world.
“Democracy may be under attack around the world, but the work of this global coalition organized around the Biden Administration’s Summit for Democracy, offers a strong rebuke to those who contend that authoritarianism provides the answer to the challenges of the 21st century.“ said Derek Mitchell, president of the National Democratic Institute, a member of the global coalition.
“Providing recommendations for how we can build better democracies everywhere, this document affirms implicitly the universality of democratic values, the vitality of the democratic idea, the unique ability of democracies to self-correct and a strong commitment to work together. In solidarity and common cause, we will #DefendDemocracy in the struggle against authoritarianism.”
International IDEA Secretary-General Kevin Casas-Zamora is available for text and visual interviews. Our regional experts and partner organizations are also available to talk to media.
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More information about the intergovernmental organization International IDEA can be viewed on the International IDEA at a Glance fact sheet.