Democracies must join forces to counter growing authoritarianism, 29 governments say
Member States of International IDEA commit to strengthen democratic governance in a statement for the Summit for Democracy hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden
STOCKHOLM—Democracies must join forces to counter authoritarianism, disinformation, and political polarization as well as infringements to civil liberties accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic, 29 governments from all over the world announced on Monday, 6 December 2021 for the Summit for Democracy.
The signatories are Member States of The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), an intergovernmental organization based in Stockholm. The Member States signatories come from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.
U.S. President Biden will host a virtual Summit for leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector from 9 to 10 December to focus on challenges and opportunities facing democracies.
“The challenges to democracy are multi-fold and far-reaching. Moreover, they are not confined to a given region or any specific type of democracy. They are global in nature and, therefore, call for a global response,” the International IDEA statement says. “Therefore, democratic practice should be the cornerstone of global decision-making process.”
To protect and advance democracy in their own countries and globally, the 29 International IDEA Member States commit to:
Investing in the quality of public institutions, enhancing state capacities to deliver public goods and services to their population, and combating corruption in order to contribute to inclusive and accountable post-pandemic recovery.
Strengthening the rule of law through independent, impartial and competent people-centred judiciaries, checks and balances, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly freedoms of the press, expression and assembly.
Promoting independent democratic institutions, especially the pluralism of party systems and political voices, the integrity and legitimacy of elections, and informed political debates free from disinformation, including in digital spaces and online platforms.
Embracing democratic practices, by exploring institutional innovations, highlighting local solutions, supporting civic actors, free and independent media and human rights defenders, and including more young people, women and disadvantaged groups in the political process.
Building new equitable, inclusive, transparent and sustainable social contracts, advancing gender and racial equality, so that human rights are enjoyed by all, no one is left behind and trust is strengthened.
“Our latest Global State of Democracy Report shows that authoritarianism is gaining ground across the board,'' says Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General of International IDEA. “Our Member States have a crucial role to play in protecting and invigorating democracy in their own countries and globally.”
“This is about more than safeguarding abstract principles or winning geopolitical battles—it is about protecting the dignity of human beings, which democracy does better than any other political arrangement. Concerted, global actions by national and multilateral actors are needed more than ever.”
Read the full Democracy Statement with the list of country signatories in English.
Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General of the Stockholm-based International IDEA, is available for interviews in English and Spanish.
Around the world, our experts are available for interview.
Alistair Scrutton, Head of Communications, A.Scrutton@idea.int, +46 707 211098
Lynn Simmonds, Communications Manager, L.Simmonds@idea.int
About International IDEA
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) is an intergovernmental organization with 34 Member States with the sole mandate to support and advance democracy worldwide. International IDEA contributes to the public debate on democracy and assists in strengthening process, reforms, institutions and actors that build, advance and safeguard democracy, with a focus on electoral processes, constitution-building, democracy assessment, and political participation and representation. Mainstreamed across all of our work is gender and inclusion, conflict sensitivity and sustainable development.
International IDEA is one of the most trusted global sources of data and analysis on the health of democracy around the world. Our Global State of Democracy Report has been quoted in international media from CNN to The Washington Post and Le Figaro.