On this International Day of Democracy, I emphasize again the commitment that the United States and our international partners have made to protect and promote democracy across the globe. As we approach the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this December, we recommit ourselves to the values enshrined in the Declaration, which unconditionally elevates human rights for everyone, everywhere, and strengthens democracy and democratic institutions around the world.
As the world continues to modernize, we see governments abusing technological advancements to infringe on the democratic process and on the human rights of their constituents. As part of our work to counter this development, the United States, along with over 100 of our foreign partners, gathered at the second Summit for Democracy earlier this year and underscored our commitment to maximize the promise and benefits that technology can bring to advance democracy globally. When governments misuse technology, whether by imposing Internet shutdowns, controlling Internet access or content, or resorting to online harassment to target and abuse people who hold dissenting beliefs, they restrict freedom of expression and impede the free and open exchange of ideas. The full enjoyment of freedom of expression online and offline is a cornerstone of democracy and is of critical importance to the advancement of democratic institutions, principles, and processes.
Democracy is more than a form of government; it sets the foundation for a society where everyone is free to be who they are, express what they think, and practice their beliefs. The United States is committed to upholding democratic values worldwide and strengthening democratic institutions as we work toward a world in which all people can fully and freely exercise their universal human rights.