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November 16-17

Anticorruption Technology Roundtable  

Harnessing the Power of Innovative Technology and New Models of Public-Private Collaboration. On November 16, 2021, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes (TFFC), partnered with AIR – Alliance for Innovative Regulation and Accountability Lab – to hold the Anticorruption Solutions Through Emerging Technologies (ASET) Roundtable. The roundtable was the first U.S.-hosted Summit for Democracy side event and brought together 250 leaders and experts across sectors to explore bold, yet practicable, ideas in the application of technology to combat corruption.

December 2

House Democracy Partnership: Inter-Parliamentary 

December 2 at 8:00 a.m. EST
Parliamentary Leadership Session: Addressing Global Threats to Democracy through Empowered and Effective Legislative Institutions. The House Democracy Partnership (HDP) will host the Legislative Track of the Summit, specifically designed for members of the legislature to provide an opportunity for reform-oriented peers to come together across cultures and countries to connect and learn more about their shared responsibilities and democratic practices. Lawmakers will engage on the Summit’s three commitments – Countering Corruption, Curbing Authoritarianism, and Safeguarding Human Rights – from their unique perspective as national representatives of the people.

House Democracy Partnership: Inter-Parliamentary 

December 2 at 9:00 a.m. EST
Session Discussion I: Curbing Authoritarianism through Strong Legislatures and the Defense of Democratic Institutions and Principles

Models for Increasing Data Access for Researchers, Co-hosted with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue

December 2 at 11:00 a.m. EST
Closed Session. The ability of researchers and the broader public to understand the online information ecosystem, and how information moves within it, remains limited.  The Institute for Strategic Dialogue will bring together experts on the issue of data provision from online platforms for research–including scholars and public and private sector experts from government, the tech industry, and civil society–to exchange best practices, discuss challenges from existing models for data access, and chart the path forward for new and emerging possibilities.

December 3

Build Back Better World Digital Connectivity Showcase 

December 3 at 7:00 a.m. EST
During this session, participants will hear the governments of Colombia and Ghana about the opportunities and challenges to closing the digital divide in developing countries. The United States, the European Commission and other countries will also showcase digital connectivity programming under the G7’s B3W program and related initiatives. 

House Democracy Partnership: Inter-Parliamentary 

December 3 at 8:00 a.m. EST
Session Discussion II: Advancing Integrity through Parliaments – How Parliaments Can Lead the Fight Against Corruption and Kleptocracy

Disability-Inclusive Democracy in Action: Opportunities and Challenges, Co-hosted with Norway and the United Kingdom 

December 3 at 9:00 a.m. EST
Co-hosted by Norway, the United Kingdom, and U.S, this virtual event will bring together more than 100 leaders and experts across sectors to explore innovative approaches and common challenges to disability-inclusive democracy globally.  

December 6

Mayors Delivering Democracy Daily, Co-hosted with Germany, the Netherlands, the German Marshall Fund, and the Global Parliament of Mayors  

December 6 at 8:00 a.m. EST
This session seeks to highlight the importance of cities and subnational governments for the renewal of democracy worldwide through a showcase for mayors’ democratic innovations, a mayors’ exchange program, and a democracy declaration. A diverse group of mayors will highlight their experiences in leading action for global policy development and change around the most pressing issues facing democracy today, including corruption, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, authoritarianism, and social inequity.

Defending Democracies against Disinformation, Co-hosted with the United Kingdom

December 6 at 8:00 a.m. EST
Closed Session. This event, co-hosted with the United Kingdom, will focus on best practices for addressing disinformation and advancing an open and transparent information system.  The event will feature panels focused on 1) media literacy 2) lessons learned from fighting the COVID infodemic and 3) the role of public-private partnerships in tackling disinformation.

Advocates for Democracy in Closed Spaces  

December 6, 2021, 10 a.m. EST
Civil society organizations and other democratic actors are on the front lines in the battle for democracy around the world. In countries either sliding back or moving toward authoritarianism, human rights defenders, entrepreneurs, journalists, legal advocates, and many other reform-minded activists organize, publicize, and push back against efforts to manipulate the judicial system, corrupt elections, and shut down dissent. Yet they also look to engage the government when windows of democratic opportunity appear to emerge. In authoritarian regimes, showing extraordinary courage, these reformers carefully and often under pressure–facing trial, prison, psychological pressure, and physical and digital attacks against them and their families–persist in promoting democratic change in their countries. Many, forced from their countries, continue their efforts in exile. CSOs also continue their work despite the growth of NGO laws and norms designed explicitly to make their democracy and development work difficult or illegal or force them to self-censor through labyrinthian, opaque requirements. They often have no choice but to rely heavily on international donor assistance, which can ultimately be used against them by repressive governments. The courage of these actors and the importance of their work demands worldwide attention.

Advancing Inclusion and Democracy: The Participation of LGBTQI+ Persons, Co-hosted with Cabo Verde and Sweden

December 6 at 1:00 p.m. EST
This event, co-hosted by Sweden and Cabo Verde, will launch an ambitious new mechanism: GLIDE (Global LGBTQI+ Inclusive Democratic and Empowerment Fund), as well as a number of other initiatives to build support for the inclusion of LGBTQI+ persons in democratic institutions and political processes.

December 7

Democracy Delivers Development

December 7 at 7:00 a.m. EST
The focus of the session is democracies working in partnership to deliver development results. The session will showcase democracies where Millennium Challenge Corporation’s grant assistance and country’s own leadership and reform agenda has made a significant impact in reducing poverty through economic growth. The United States will join a panel of developing country leaders to highlight practical cases of how a commitment to accountable and democratic governance has contributed to delivering development results across countries, and how various countries partnered to strengthen (or leverage) their democratic institutions and reduce poverty through economic growth.

House Democracy Partnership: Inter-Parliamentary 

December 7 at 8:00 a.m. EST
Session Discussion III: Parliament’s Role to Defend & Safeguard Human Rights – Inclusive Lawmaking, Holding Bad Actors Accountable, Establishing and Protecting Mechanisms to Redress Grievances

Worker Organizations’ Vital Role in Democracy 

December 7 at 8:00 a.m. EST
This session, chaired by U.S. Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh and AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, together with representatives of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of State, the International Trade Union Confederation, and the Solidarity Center, will highlight the role of worker voice and worker rights as fundamental components of democracy; elevate the recommendations made during four listening sessions with labor unions from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe; and spur global action in support of freedom of association and collective bargaining, including through the launch of the Multilateral Partnership for Organizing, Worker Empowerment, and Rights (M-POWER) Initiative.

All Hands on Deck: Innovating Together to Combat Transnational Corruption 

December 7 at 10:00 a.m. EST
Success in the fight against transnational corruption requires “all hands on deck.” Our response must be as clever, nimble, and globally networked as corruption itself. The Combating Transnational Corruption Grand Challenge will crowdsource, fund, and scale forward-thinking solutions from partners across the globe. This virtual event will introduce the Grand Challenge, highlight past successes, and showcase how innovation and collaboration can be harnessed to combat transnational corruption and organized crime. 

Racial Justice and Equity through Sports Diplomacy

December 7 at 10:00 a.m. EST
The session will feature four international athletes from four different sports speaking honestly on the realities of systemic racism in sports and our societies, the intersectional challenges faced by women, LGBTQI+ persons, and persons with disabilities, and the ways athletes use their platform to speak up on racial injustice.  

December 8 – Day Zero

All events on Day Zero will be streamed on this page 

Media Freedom and Sustainability, Co-hosted with the Netherlands

December 8 at 6:00 a.m. EST
This panel will highlight the importance of media safety, freedom, and sustainability in the health and vitality of democratic societies.  Panelists will discuss how the international community can do to more to protect journalists as well as how to reduce the vulnerability of independent media to closure or economic and political capture. Given the increasing number of challenges journalists face all around the world, is it time to rebuild journalism, not simply as a media sector, but as a piece of essential infrastructure for any functioning democracy? How can we strengthen efforts to ensure independent media can safely report around the world?  What would a New Deal for Journalism look like, and what national and international commitments are required to foster consistently independent, reliable, accessible, and compelling public-interest journalism all around the world?

Young Democratic Leaders Discussion

December 8 at 7:00 a.m. EST
The Secretary of State is hosting an online discussion with young leaders from around the world to explore what democracy means to youth, their critical role in promoting democracy, and ways to increase the participation and representation of young people in decision-making processes.  A regionally diverse panel of three young leaders from various parts of the world will be moderated by a representative of the Community of Democracies YouthLeads network, all of whom have worked to increase democratic participation. 

Private Sector Forum: Our Business Too: Democracy & Private Enterprise Delivering Together

December 8 at 8:30 a.m. EST
The private sector will participate in a Summit for Democracy constructive dialogue around the symbiotic relationship between business and government, and the roles and responsibilities of each in advancing society-at-large. Executives and thought leaders from across the globe will provide perspectives on the vital relationship between private enterprise and the public sector, as represented by a broad cross-section of business leaders.  To launch a year of action and support for democracy, this forum will highlight three priorities that represent opportunities for business, government, and civil society to work together: (1) Open and Resilient Digital Space; (2) Beneficial Ownership Transparency; and, (3) Democracy that Delivers through Responsible Investment. The specific themes will include principles to architect the dialogue in addition to issuing calls for commitment in the year of action.

Empowering Prosperity: Advancing the Status of Women to Advance the Status of Democracy, Co-hosted with Sweden

December 8 at 11:00 a.m. EST
Co-hosted by the United States and the Government of Sweden, this event will showcase women’s civic and political leadership and participation as central to democratic progress and demonstrate how champions of all gender identities can tackle barriers to gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

Democracy-Affirming Technology

December 8 at 1:00 p.m. EST
Since the optimism of the early Internet age, where many thought that new technologies would be liberalizing by their very nature, authoritarians have been hard at work making technology work for autocracy. And today, democracies face pressing questions about the role of technology in democratic life. It’s an untested proposition whether technologies built with democratic values at their core —”democracy-affirming technology” — can be as powerful, profitable, or even as entertaining as those which threaten to undermine rules-based governance today. Innovation around democracy affirming technologies seeks to test that proposition. This virtual side event will focus on technologies that asymmetrically advantage democratic values. It will explore the inner workings of such technologies, how they can be used to defend against digital authoritarianism, and how they can be productively harnessed and governed through global democratic cooperation.

Voices of Political Prisoners

December 8, 2021, 3 p.m. EST
This official side event complements the Summit for Democracy by highlighting the plight of political prisoners and underlining the need for increased international collaboration to press for their release.  The virtual, hour-long event, opened by Secretary Blinken, will feature remarks from family members and advocates of those imprisoned for the peaceful exercise of their human rights.  A formal political prisoner will also speak.  In addition, an expert on successful interventions will share insights into what interested governments can do on behalf of political prisoners.


Civil Society-Led Events

There are a wide range of events taking place around the Summit for Democracy that are not part of the official program. This unofficial Summit website was created by civil society for civil society interested in expanding on the topics of the Summit, and is neither an official webpage nor are its contents endorsed by the United States Government.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future