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Representatives of Finnish political youth and student organisations in Demo Finland's Democracy Academy 2023.

Demo Finland brings the voice of young people to the Summit for Democracy

In March, the third international Summit for Democracy will bring together heads of state as well as representatives of civil society and the private sector to find solutions to strengthen democracy.

The Summit is a continuation of the first Summit for Democracy organised in December 2021 at the initiative of US President Joe Biden, after which the United States together with four other countries hosted a second Summit for Democracy in March 2023. The third Summit for Democracy on 18–20 March this year will be hosted by South Korea, and heads of state are expected to attend the meeting virtually.

The theme of the upcoming Summit is “democracy for future generations” and the sub-themes are especially the participation of girls and the effects of digital technologies on democracy. Demo Finland, in co-operation with the Generation Equality youth action group coordinated by UN Women and Plan International Finland, conducts a youth consultation in Finland.

The consultation focuses on the effects of online harassment experienced by girls, women and gender minorities on democracy. Its purpose is to gather young people’s views on the theme of the Summit for Democracy and give input into Finland’s positions at the Summit and in the working groups and other processes after it.

“The state of democracy is deteriorating around the world, and even in established democracies, citizens’ trust in the democratic system and its ability to respond to the biggest crises of our time is wavering. We want to hear from young people themselves what democracy should be like, so that they and the generations that come after them have opportunities for a good life,” says Demo Finland’s Dialogue Adviser Virva Viljanen.

The youth consultation is carried out in the form of a survey and an online meeting in February-March, in addition to which Demo Finland also gathers views from representatives of political youth and student organisations in a dialogue exercise.

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