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The December 2021 Summit kicked off a Year of Action in advance of a second Summit, in which the United States and its partners are working to advance the commitments we made to strengthen democracy, promote respect for human rights, and counter corruption and authoritarianism. 

We are demonstrating that democracies can deliver on the issues that matter most to people: strengthening accountable governance, expanding economic opportunities, protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, and enabling lives of dignity.  We are showing how open, rights-respecting societies can work together to effectively tackle the great challenges of our time, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and growing inequality.  

During this Year of Action, the United States and our partners are actively engaged in implementing over 750 commitments made at the first Summit for Democracy.  The Summit Focal Group – our primary intergovernmental engagement in the Year of Action – is bringing together governments and authorities from Summit participating countries to develop an inclusive agenda for the next Summit, to draft a meaningful declaration for the second Summit, and to institutionalize democratic renewal into existing platforms and fora. 

Woman in a pink headscarf holding up her index finger with ink on it.Zainab shows her inked finger after voting for the first time in May 2018 at the Harsham camp for Internally Displaced Persons in Erbil, Iraq.
(Photo by: Jim Huylebroek for Creative Associates International, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0)


Democracy Cohorts

During the Summit for Democracy’s Year of Action, governments, civil society, and private sector stakeholders are coming together through Democracy Cohorts to take concerted action toward commitment implementation in areas of common interest.  Each Democracy Cohort brings together governments and authorities that demonstrate political will toward progress on Summit commitments in a specific issue area with key non-governmental stakeholders invested in the outcome.  Democracy Cohorts are co-led by governments and civil society.  The cohort platform provides opportunities for meaningful dialogue and collaboration among civil society representatives, private sector leaders, philanthropic partners, academics, and government officials on issues vital to good governance and democratic renewal.

Current cohort topics include:

  • Civic Space
  • Deliberative Democracy
  • Elections Integrity
  • Financial Transparency and Integrity
  • Gender Equality as a Pre-requisite for Democracy
  • Inclusive Democracy
  • Information Integrity
  • International Cooperation and Anticorruption
  • Labor Rights
  • Media Freedom
  • Resisting Authoritarian Pressure
  • Rule of Law and Access to Justice Champions
  • Technology for Democracy
  • Youth Political and Civic Engagement

Please email DemocracySummit@state.gov for more information.


Civil Society Outreach

In Spring and Fall 2022, the Department of State, USAID, and other federal agencies held a series of consultations with a broad cross-section of non-governmental organizations, philanthropies, and the private sector to discuss fulfillment of U.S. Summit commitments and planning for the second Summit on a range of topics including anti-corruption, rule of law, labor rights, civic space, election integrity, promoting internet freedom, countering disinformation, gender equality, racial equity and justice, and promoting and protecting the human rights of persons with disabilities and LGBTQI+ persons.

U.S. Department of State

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