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Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Summit for Democracy counters authoritarianism

On 9-10 December, the US President Joe Biden will host a virtual Summit for Democracy as promised during his presidential campaign. The Summit aims to strengthen and renew democracy which has weakened globally both in new and established democracies, and to build co-operation to defend democracy. The Summit has three key themes: defending against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting corruption and promoting respect for human rights. 

The two-day Summit will kick off a “year of action”, during which the participating states will implement their commitments towards promoting democracy, both in domestic and foreign policies. Approximately one year after the virtual Summit, an in-person Summit will be organised where participants can take a look at the progress made and discuss the way forward. 

“The state of democracy in the world has deteriorated in both new and established democracies. It is important that the Summit sets out concrete commitments for the participating countries and that the implementation of these commitments is monitored during the year”, says Gary Klaukka, Demo Finland’s Executive Director. 

More than 100 states have been invited to the December 2021 Summit, Finland being one of them. Among the invited states there are strong democracies, but also countries such as Iraq and the Philippines which cannot be called democratic and whose leaders have authoritarian tendencies. 

Demo Finland and a host of other democracy organisations around the world have formed a global multi-stakeholder coalition for democracy (Global Democracy Coalition) that aims to galvanise a global conversation on democracy as inputs to the Summit for Democracy and to offer a platform for actors and issues that are not part of the official Summit. The Coalition is convened by the International IDEA, and it will gather a virtual forum on 7 December with more than 30 webinars on varying aspects of democracy. Demo Finland is co-hosting a webinar on women’s political leadership together with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) and participates in a discussion on challenges of supporting elections, organised by the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD). 

After the Summit, the Coalition will follow up on the commitments made in the Summit and continue to bring the expertise of the democracy support community to the global conversation on democracy. 

Take a look at the events of the Global Democracy Coalition Forum here: (opens is new tab).

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