The peaceful transfer of power is the very essence of democracy. We strongly condemn the storming and violent occupation of Washington DC’s Capitol by protesters. This is an affront not just to one of the world’s oldest democracies, but to the global cause of democracy.
Many politically fragile countries worldwide have long looked to the United States as an example of democratic stability. The negative global impact of the images we have seen in Washington DC is hard to overemphasize.
Nonetheless, US democracy is proving resilient. This attack only delayed but did not stop US lawmakers from formally confirming the election of Joe Biden. But the real work –in the United States and globally—remains to be done.
Democracy is facing a myriad of existential challenges, from disinformation to extreme polarization, rampant economic inequality, the ascent of authoritarian powers and the climate crisis. This is a time of reckoning but also of opportunity. All of us who care about democracy must stand ready to defend it wherever it’s challenged by demagogues and autocrats. No democracy, young or old, rich or poor, is immune, to this danger. But, most of all, we must harness our creativity and the global lessons of democratic practice to revitalize democracy’s promise everywhere. The events at the US Capitol underscore the urgency of this endeavor.