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The Summit for Democracy 

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Democracy doesn’t happen by accident.
We have to defend it, fight for it, strengthen it, renew it.
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
February 2021

Since day one, the Biden-Harris Administration has made clear that renewing democracy in the United States and around the world is essential to meeting the unprecedented challenges of our time.

As President Biden stated on the International Day of Democracy, “No democracy is perfect, and no democracy is ever final. Every gain made, every barrier broken, is the result of determined, unceasing work.”

On December 9-10, 2021, President Biden will host the first of two Summits for Democracy, which will bring together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector to set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats faced by democracies today through collective action.

The December 2021 Summit

On December 9-10, 2021, President Biden will host a virtual summit for leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector. The summit will focus on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and will provide a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad.

For the United States, the summit will offer an opportunity to listen, learn, and engage with a diverse range of actors whose support and commitment is critical for global democratic renewal. It will also showcase one of democracy’s unique strengths: the ability to acknowledge its imperfections and confront them openly and transparently, so that we may, as the United States Constitution puts it, “form a more perfect union.”

In advance of the first summit, we are consulting with experts from government, multilateral organizations, philanthropies, civil society, and the private sector to solicit bold, practicable ideas around three key themes:

  1. Defending against authoritarianism
  2. Addressing and fighting corruption
  3. Promoting respect for human rights

Leaders will be encouraged to announce specific actions and commitments to meaningful internal reforms and international initiatives that advance the Summit’s goals.

These pledges will include domestic and international initiatives that counter authoritarianism, combat corruption, and promote respect for human rights.

Civil society will be represented on panels and in townhalls as a part of the official program. Their inclusion is based on a variety of factors including geographic representation, political context, and subject matter expertise.

Four people including two children speaking into microphones around a table.Young people in San Vicente de Caguán, Colombia speak to a local radio program about how youth are preserving historical memory through arts and communications. (Photo by: Katherine Ko, ACDI/VOCA, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0)

U.S. Department of State

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