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** All times Eastern Standard Time (EST) **

All events were open to public and press unless otherwise indicated, and are available to view at the links below.

Day Zero – December 8, 2021

Watch Recorded Video: All Day Zero Events (English) 
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Media Freedom and Sustainability, Co-hosted with the Netherlands 

6:00 am – 7:00 am
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?

  • Introductory remarks by Antony Blinken – U.S. Secretary of State
  • Introductory remarks by Ben Knapen – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands
  • Remarks by Maria Ressa – CEO, Rappler, 2021 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  • Remarks by Dmitry Muratov – Editor-in-Chief, Novaya Gazeta, 2021 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  • Moderated by Agnes Callamard – Secretary General, Amnesty International
  • Speakers:
    • Sheila Coronel – Director of the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, Columbia University
    • Jennifer Avila Reyes – Editor-in-Chief, Contra Corriente
    • Bay Fang – President, Radio Free Asia
    • Sana Safi –  Senior Presenter, BBC News
  • Closing remarks by Mélanie Joly – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada

Young Democratic Leaders Discussion 

7:00 am – 8:00 am
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.

  • Moderated by Antony Blinken – U.S. Secretary of State
  • Speakers:
    • Daria Onyshko – Program Officer, Community of Democracies
    • Lynrose Jane Genon – Member, Executive Committee, Young Women Leaders for Peace – Philippines
    • Mwila Chriseddy Bwanga – Founder and Executive Director, BeRelevant Africa
    • Margarita Maira – Advocacy Coordinator, Ahora Nos Toca Participar

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

8:30 am – 10:30 am
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.

  • Hosted by Gina Raimondo – U.S. Secretary of Commerce
  • Speakers:
    • Andrew Wilson – Executive Director, Center for International Private Enterprise
    • Kent Walker – President, Global Affairs & Chief Legal Officer, Google & Alphabet
    • Patrick Collison – CEO, Stripe

PANEL 1: Responsible Investment

  • Moderated by John Brothers – President, T. Rowe Price Foundation
  • Speakers:
    • Lenna Koszarny – Founding Partner and CEO, Horizon Capital
    • Nanette Medved-Po – Founder, Generation Hope
    • Dr. Amy Jadesimi – CEO, LADOL Free Zone

PANEL 2: Beneficial Ownership

  • Moderated by Teresa Jennings – Vice President and Treasurer and Head of Rule of Law Development, LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation
  • Speakers:
    • Christina Tee – CEO of CAPE EMS Manufacturing, CEO and President, Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry
    • Melina Cruz – Founder and CEO, Homely
    • Lola Adekanye – Center for International Private Enterprise Ethics First Lead

PANEL 3: Open and Resilient Digital Space

  • Moderated by Dr. Andrea Bonime-Blanc – CEO and Founder, GEC Risk Advisory
  • Speakers:
    • Simoun Ung – President and CEO, Omnipay
    • Rebecca Enonchong – Founding Partner and CEO, AppsTech
    • Michelle Zatlyn – COO and Co-Founder, Cloudflare

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

11:00 am – 1:00 pm
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.

  • Keynote remarks by Magdalena Andersson – Prime Minister of Sweden
  • Keynote remarks by Ambassador Katherine Tai – U.S. Trade Representative
  • Moderated by Melanne Verveer Executive Director, Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Georgetown University
  • Closing remarks by Åsa Regnér – Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women
  • Closing remarks by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – Former President of Liberia

PANEL 1: Championing Women’s Political and Civic Participation and Leadership as the Lifeblood of Democracy

  • Speakers:
    • Nelly Mutti – Speaker, National Assembly of Zambia
    • Patricia Zanella – Hurford Youth Fellow, National Endowment for Democracy
    • May Sabe Phyu – Activist

PANEL 2: Breaking Down Barriers: Countering Gender-Based Violence in all its Forms

  • Speakers:
    • Bafana Khumalo – Co-Founder, Sonke Gender Justice & Men Engage Global Alliance
    • Danica Roem – State Delegate, Virginia House of Delegates
    • Seo Ji-hyun – Special Prosecutor Chief, Digital Sex Crimes Response Task Force Team, Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Korea

Panel Discussion on Democracy-Affirming Technology: How Innovation Can Be Used to Support Democratic Values 

1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
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.

  • Introductory remarks by Jeppe Kofod – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Denmark
  • Opening remarks by Dr. Eric Lander – Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Moderated by Jeanne Meserve – Journalist
  • Speakers: 
    • Rt. Hon. Nadine Dorries – MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Government of the United Kingdom
    • Dr. Roya Ensafi – Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Michigan
    • Rami Nakhla – Senior Manager of Public Affairs and Impact, Truepic
    • ‘Gbenga Sesan – Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative

Panel Discussion: A Conversation on the Future of the Internet 

2:15 pm – 3:00 pm
This event will be a moderated panel discussion about the future of the Internet, including the challenges of today, what organizations are doing about it, and how governments, civil society and other stakeholders can work together to reaffirm a commitment to an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet.

  • Moderated by Rebecca MacKinnon – Vice President, Global Advocacy, Wikimedia Foundation
  • Speakers:
    • Anriette Esterhuysen – Chair, Multistakeholder Advisory Group, UN Internet Governance Forum
    • Nina Vaskunlahti – Under-Secretary of State for External Economic Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland
    • Tim Wu – Special Assistant to the President for Technology and Competition Policy

Voices of Political Prisoners, Co-hosted with Lithuania 

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
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 and those imprisoned solely for their ethnicity or identity. 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.

  • Introductory Remarks by Antony Blinken – U.S. Secretary of State
  • Introductory Remarks by Gabrielius Landsbergis – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lithuania
  • Moderated by Uzra Zeya – U.S. Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights
  • Speakers: 
    • Tatsiana Khomich – Viktar Babaryka Team, Coordination Council
    • Rayhan Asat – Human Rights Lawyer and Yale World Fellow
    • Victoria Cardenas – Spouse of political prisoner in Nicaragua
    • Dr. Peter Biar Ajak – Revive South Sudan
    • Jeremy Weinstein – Professor, Stanford University


Day One – December 9, 2021

View the Official Interventions, in which participating delegations shared their vision for strengthening democracy. See the schedule of Official Interventions that were broadcast on Day One.

Opening Remarks 

8:00 am – 8:15 am

  • Remarks by President Joe Biden

Leaders’ Plenary Session

8:15 am – 9:15 am  (closed door)

  • Hosted by President Joe Biden

Leaders’ Plenary Session

9:15 am – 10:15 am  (closed door)

  • Hosted by Ursula von der Leyen – President of the European Commission

Remarks – Bolstering Democratic Resilience

10:30 am – 10:45 am

  • Remarks by Jacinda Ardern – Prime Minister of New Zealand
  • Remarks by Mary Kay Henry – International President, Service Employees International Union

Panel Discussion – Bolstering Democratic Resilience: Building Back Better Together from COVID-19 

10:45 am – 11:45 am

  • Hosted by Antony Blinken – U.S. Secretary of State
  • Moderated by Enrique Acevedo – Correspondent, CBS
  • Speakers: 
    • Nana Akufo-Addo – President of Ghana
    • Silvia Hernández Sánchez – President of the Legislative Assembly, Costa Rica
    • Yvonne Aki-Sawyer – Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone
    • Violeta Bermudez – Former Prime Minister, Peru
    • Douglas Rutzen – President, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

Inter-Session Remarks 

11:45 am – 12:00 pm

  • Remarks by Juan Guaido – Interim President of Venezuela

Remarks – Preventing and Countering Corruption 

12:00 pm – 12:15 pm

  • Remarks by Maia Sandu – President of Moldova
  • Remarks by Mo Ibrahim – Chairman, Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Panel Discussion – Preventing and Countering Corruption 

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

  • Hosted by Janet Yellen – U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
  • Moderated by Andrea Mitchell – Chief Washington Correspondent and Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, NBC
  • Speakers: 
    • Mokgweetsi Masisi – President of Botswana
    • Zuzana Čaputová – President of Slovakia
    • Paul Radu – Investigative Journalist, Co-founder, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
    • Reuben Lifuka – Vice Chair, Transparency International, Zambia
    • Diana Salazar – Attorney General, Ecuador
    • Daria Kaleniuk – Executive Director, Anti-Corruption Action Centre, Ukraine

Remarks by Republican and Democratic Governors 

1:15 pm – 1:25 pm

  • Remarks by Phil Scott – Governor of Vermont
  • Remarks by Janet Mills – Governor of Maine

Closing Remarks 

1:25 pm – 1:35 pm

  • Remarks by Vice President Kamala Harris


Day Two – December 10, 2021

View the Official Interventions, in which participating delegations shared their vision for strengthening democracy. See the schedule of Official Interventions that were broadcast on Day Two.

Opening Remarks 

6:00 am – 6:05 am

  • Remarks by António Guterres – Secretary-General of the United Nations

Remarks – Protecting Human Rights 

6:05 am – 6:20 am

  • Remarks by Magdalena Andersson – Prime Minister of Sweden
  • Remarks by Dr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein – President and CEO, International Peace Institute

Panel Discussion – Expanding Civic Space: Empowering Human Rights Defenders and Independent Media Within and Across Borders 

6:20 am – 7:30 am

  • Hosted by Samantha Power – Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Moderated by Damon Wilson – President and CEO, National Endowment for Democracy
  • Speakers: 
    • Luis Rodolfo Abinader Corona – President of the Dominican Republic
    • Lazarus Chakwera – President of Malawi
    • Sherrilyn Ifill – President, NAACP Legal Defense Fund
    • Irene Khan – UN Special Rapporteur on Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Opinion and Expression
    • Swe Win – Editor-in-Chief, Myanmar Now
    • Mohamed Zaree – Egypt Director, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

Inter-Session Remarks 

7:30 am – 7:45 am

  • Remarks by Nathan Law of Hong Kong

Remarks – Strengthening Democracy and Defending Against Authoritarianism 

7:45 am – 8:00 am

  • Remarks by Gitanas Nausėda – President of Lithuania
  • Remarks by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya of Belarus

Panel Discussion – Protecting Democratic Institutions: Elections, the Rule of Law, and a Resilient Information Space 

8:00 am – 9:00 am

  • Hosted by Linda Thomas-Greenfield – U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Moderated by Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter – CEO, New America
  • Speakers:
    • Hakainde Hichilema – President of Zambia
    • Kaja Kallas – Prime Minister of Estonia
    • Attahiru Muhammadu Jega – former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigeria
    • Hina Jilani – Member of the Elders
    • Jessikka Aro – Investigative Journalist, Finnish Broadcasting Service
    • Nicholas Opiyo – Executive Director and Lead Attorney, Chapter Four Uganda

Remarks – Technology for Democracy 

9:15 am – 9:30 am

  • Remarks by Mette Frederiksen – Prime Minister of Denmark
  • Remarks by Brad Smith – President and Vice Chair, Microsoft Corporation

Panel Discussion – Countering Digital Authoritarianism and Affirming Democratic Values 

9:30 am – 10:30 am

  • Hosted by Samantha Power – Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Moderated by Thomas Carothers – Harvey F. Fineberg Chair for Democracy Studies and Senior Vice President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Speakers:
    • Egils Levits – President of Latvia
    • Audrey Tang – Digital Minister, Taiwan (watch Minister Tang’s full intervention)
    • Eileen Donahoe – Global Digital Policy Incubator, Stanford University Cyber Policy Center
    • Samir Saran – President, Observer Research Foundation
    • Nanjira Sambuli – Ford Global Fellow & Technology and International Affairs Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    • Manuel Muniz – Provost, IE University

Youth Town Hall 

Meet the Youth Town Hall participants.

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

  • Hosted by Linda Thomas-Greenfield – U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

Closing Remarks 

1:30 pm – 1:45 pm

  • Remarks by President Joe Biden

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future