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Towards a Summit for Democracy

Context and Event Focus

U.S. President Joe Biden pledged in his election campaign to rebuild global alliances, exemplified in a Summit for Democracy, which he said would “renew the spirit and shared purpose of the nations of the free world”. To discuss outcomes and activities of a gathering for democracy, the Permanent Secretariat of the Community of Democracies (PSCD) in cooperation with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance – International IDEA, and the Open Government Partnership (OGP)  are coming together to start the conversation and pave the way “Towards a Summit for Democracy.” This meeting will bring together high-level representatives of the three convening organizations, who will share lessons learned from their ongoing work to support democracy worldwide. The event will aim to:

  • Enable a conversation around the current global state of democracy, identifying challenges such as democracy backsliding and opportunities for the advancement of democracy;
  • Discuss what actions may be put in place to uphold basic democratic practices and institutions at all levels, that can serve as a roadmap for a conversation at a global gathering for democracy; and
  • Discuss possible outcomes and key activities of a global gathering for democracy.

Expected Outcomes 

Key outcomes of this online event will be the development of a document with highlights of the gathering, including a set of recommendations on two aspects:

  • The outlook for democracy support going forward and a set of actionable recommendations that may respond to the global question of what can be done to counter democratic backsliding globally, enhance the quality of democracy and understand how to shield democracy during times of crisis. Recommendations provided can serve as a first draft of a bigger global pact to defend and uphold democracy.
  • How the Community of Democracies, International IDEA, and OGP can provide important guidance, engage with and provide key support to the implementation of the Summit for Democracy expected to be implemented by the United States a CoD Governing Council Member State.

Tentative Agenda 

9:00 AM EST: Welcome and technical guidance by Moderator Patricia  Galdamez, Senior Advisor, PSCD

9:05 – 9:20 AM EST: The First Steps for a Summit for Democracy, Ted Piccone

9:20 – 9:55 AM EST: Towards a Summit for Democracy, democracy stakeholder’s perspectives

  • Suneeta Kaimal, CEO of the Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Maria Baron, CEO of Directorio Legislativo, current civil society co-chair of OGP
  • Thomas E. Garrett, Secretary-General, Community of Democracies
  • Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)
  • Joe Powell, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Open Government Partnership

9:55 – 10:00 AM EST: Closing