FP4A Welcomes the Summit for Democracy

December 9, 2021

FP4A Welcomes the Summit for Democracy

Washington, DC – Foreign Policy for America welcomed the official start of the White House Summit for Democracy today, which brings together 110 governments, representing diverse democratic experiences around the world, as well as civil society and private sector leaders. As President Biden shared in his remarks today, democracy is the defining challenge of our time.

President Biden announced today his Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal, a set of important policy and foreign assistance initiatives to strengthen democracy and human rights around the world. This over $400 million effort will address core challenges to democracy by supporting journalists and independent media, curbing corruption, funding democracy reform, advancing technology, and defending free and fair elections.

We applaud the Biden administration’s central focus on deepening democracy and countering the drivers of authoritarianism in the U.S. and abroad. This effort unites American allies and partners in strategic, urgent purpose. It encourages cooperation to address transnational challenges. It suggests opportunities for learning, on equal footing, from national experiences in making democracy deliver. From the U.S., it requires both a spirit of humility, to recognize shortcomings and U.S. contributions to the global drivers of authoritarianism, and bold bipartisan commitment to consistently prioritize this effort and ensure its success.

Americans know that what sets us apart from countries like China is our democracy. It’s at the heart of what has made us so successful as a country. And today, it’s under threat by legal regimes that threaten the freedom to vote, social media platforms fueled by anger and anxiety that are displacing local news outlets, the corrupt capture of government institutions, and a shrinking space for watchdog groups and labor organizing. That’s why this Summit is so important.

Around the world, democracy continues to inspire. That is our country’s enduring advantage. We commend President Biden for centering the fight against corruption as a core pillar of his Summit for Democracy and the upcoming Year of Action, and for his recently released U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption. We appreciate his continued leadership in support of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and Freedom to Vote Act to safeguard the right to vote and preserve non-partisan election administration. We call on Congress to quickly pass that legislation, with 51 votes in the Senate if necessary.

“Foreign policy starts at home. Here in the United States we have seen challenges to our democratic system, but also a resurgence of efforts to champion rights and justice for all, and to safeguard our democracy, and we have seen those movements inspire the world,” said Foreign Policy for America’s Executive Director Andrew Albertson. “As we enter this critical Year of Action, I’m optimistic about the opportunity to channel and support those movements to fight corruption, counter authoritarianism, and advance human rights here at home and abroad.”