President Biden announced that he will host a virtual “Summit for Democracy” later this year.
The event was first foreshadowed in a campaign promise from the Biden-Harris ticket, which promised to “renew the spirit and shared purpose of the nations of the Free World.”
“During his first year in office,” explains the 2020 Democratic campaign platform, “President Biden will bring together the world’s democracies to strengthen our democratic institutions, honestly confront the challenge of nations that are backsliding, and forge a common agenda to address threats to our common values.” Among other topics, attendees will discuss “fighting corruption,” “defending against authoritarianism, including election security,” and “advancing human rights in their own nations and abroad.”
According to a Wednesday statement from the White House, the “Summit for Democracy” will occur in December:
In his first six months in office, the President has reinvigorated democracy at home, vaccinating 70% of population, passing the American Rescue plan, and advancing bipartisan legislation to invest in our infrastructure and competitiveness. And he has rebuilt our alliances with our democratic partners and allies, rallying the world to stand up against human rights abuses, to address the climate crisis, and to fight the global pandemic, including by donating hundreds of millions of vaccine doses to countries around the globe.
In keeping this commitment, today President Biden is pleased to announce that in December he will bring together leaders from a diverse group of the world’s democracies at a virtual Summit for Democracy, to be followed in roughly a year’s time by a second, in-person Summit.
According to the State Department, the event 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.”
Those threats include “tenuous rule of law,” “high inequality,” and “authoritarian leaders reaching across borders to undermine democracies” — including “targeting journalists and human rights defenders to meddling in elections all while claiming their model is better at delivering for people.”
Despite the Biden administration’s assertions, the American public’s trust in the Commander-in-Chief is dwindling. A recent ABC News poll shows that citizens disapprove of the President’s performance by twenty-four-point margins on issues such as border security and gun violence.
55% of Americans are now pessimistic about the direction of the United States — a significant increase from the 36% pessimism in a poll taken only two months earlier.
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