Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

The third democracy conference began on Monday. What is it?

By nr39r Mar20,2024
News

On Monday, March 18, the third Democracy Summit got underway in Seoul, which is located in South Korea. It was Joe Biden who initiated this gathering of leaders, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and representatives of civil society in 2021 with the intention of “strengthening solidarity” between democratic nations. The guest list, on the other hand, is frequently the subject of criticism.

Beginning this coming Monday, March 18, South Korea will be hosting the third iteration of the democracy summit. The summit’s primary objective is to strengthen solidarity between democracies in the face of the growth of authoritarianism throughout the world. It was only a few hours after North Korea launched missiles and the announcement of Vladimir Putin’s triumphant re-election that this gathering of delegates from over one hundred countries began. It is clear that Vladimir Putin was not invited to this gathering.

“The democracy summit” is a gathering of political leaders, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and representatives of civil society that took place for the first time in December 2021. This gathering was a campaign promise made by the president of the United States of America. In that year, 113 chiefs of state from countries all around the world convened via video conference in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Their goal was to “put an end to the decline of democracy and the erosion of rights and freedoms in the world.”

The United States of America, in collaboration with Costa Rica, the Netherlands, South Korea, and the Republic of Zambia, will take the initiative to arrange the second edition, which will take place online once more in the year 2023. This year, the summit is being hosted in Seoul, which is the capital of the Republic of Korea.

The threat that artificial intelligence poses to democracies is the primary topic of the summit that will take place in 2024. In addition, the summit will also discuss the creation of “deep fakes” and the transmission of disinformation. A theme that is reminiscent of recent allegations asserting that Russia is interfering in European affairs by means of “destabilization” activities conducted on the internet. Additionally, this summit takes held in a year that has a significant number of electoral votes.

The President of South Korea, Yoon Suk-yeol, made the following statement during the opening ceremony: “Fake news and disinformation based on artificial intelligence and digital technology not only violate individual freedom and human rights, but they also threaten democratic systems.”

It has already been stated that the United States government would be publishing a paper that will provide guidelines to technology companies on how to prevent cyberattacks against human rights advocates. During the effort that is being spearheaded by the United States of America to combat the exploitation of commercial spyware to monitor journalists or human rights defenders, six additional countries, including South Korea and Japan, announced their participation.

During past summits, governments had made a variety of commitments with the goals of “fighting corruption,” “promoting respect for human rights,” and “strengthening democracy and defending it against authoritarianism.” The United States of America had made a noteworthy announcement in 2021 that they would be allocating a budget of 424 million dollars (about 400 million euros) to these objectives.

There have been prior editions of the summit that have been subject to criticism about the guest list. In point of fact, there were some individuals who viewed this international gathering as a tool that was utilized in the service of the United States’ international policy. Washington selects the attendees based on its political interests rather than the political system of the individuals who are invited.

On the occasion of the initial summit, Taiwan was invited, but China was not. This resulted in significant tensions between the two nations, as China asserted its sovereignty over the neighboring island.

In addition, a number of observers voiced their disapproval of the invitation extended to nations that refuse to adhere to democratic values. A columnist for Time Magazine named Debasish Roy Chowdhury referred to the gathering that took place in 2021 as a “summit of hypocrisy.” He expressed his regret that among the hundred guests consisted of individuals such as the leader of India, Narendra Modi, the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, who is accused of committing crimes against humanity, the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, and even the head of state of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro.

On the other hand, other nations that are considered to be democracies, such as Thailand and Turkey, expressed sadness that they were not invited.

A hundred government officials, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and members of civil society will once again be present at the event in 2024, in addition to the honoree, Antony Blinken, who is the Secretary of State of the United States of America. A small number of influential political figures are among the representatives who traveled to the location. Oliver Dowden, a member of parliament from the United Kingdom, as well as the foreign ministers of Ecuador, Gambia, Indonesia, Guyana, and Mauritius are present there.

In at least fifty of the seventeen hundred and three countries that were investigated, democracy has deteriorated over the course of the past five years, as stated in the most recent report that was issued by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance in November of 2023.

On the occasion of the initial summit, Taiwan was invited, but China was not. This resulted in significant tensions between the two nations, as China asserted its sovereignty over the neighboring island.

In addition, a number of observers voiced their disapproval of the invitation extended to nations that refuse to adhere to democratic values. A columnist for Time Magazine named Debasish Roy Chowdhury referred to the gathering that took place in 2021 as a “summit of hypocrisy.

” He expressed his regret that among the hundred guests consisted of individuals such as the leader of India, Narendra Modi, the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, who is accused of committing crimes against humanity, the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, and even the head of state of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro.

On the other hand, other nations that are considered to be democracies, such as Thailand and Turkey, expressed sadness that they were not invited.

A hundred government officials, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and members of civil society will once again be present at the event in 2024, in addition to the honoree, Antony Blinken, who is the Secretary of State of the United States of America. A small number of influential political figures are among the representatives who traveled to the location. Oliver Dowden, a member of parliament from the United Kingdom, as well as the foreign ministers of Ecuador, Gambia, Indonesia, Guyana, and Mauritius are present there.

In at least fifty of the seventeen hundred and three countries that were investigated, democracy has deteriorated over the course of the past five years, as stated in the most recent report that was issued by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance in November of 2023.

Greetings in the afternoon, and thank you for joining us here at the Washington Foreign Press Center. Congratulations to all of the journalists who are participating online. As the facilitator of the briefing, my name is Doris Robinson, and I am here today. A preview of the United States’ participation in the third Summit for Democracy is being provided in today’s briefing.

As a friendly reminder, this briefing is being recorded, and a transcript will be uploaded to the Federal Public Service Commission website later today. It is imperative that you, as a journalist working online, ensure that your name and the media outlet you work for are included on your Zoom profile. Today’s briefing will come to a conclusion at 12:45 p.m. because we are running behind schedule.

Presenting our esteemed briefers is the next step in my presentation. Maher Bitar is the National Security Council coordinator for intelligence and defense policy, in addition to being the deputy assistant to the President. The National Security Council’s senior director for democracy and human rights is Kelly Razzouk, who also serves as a special assistant to the President. The first part of each briefer will consist of opening remarks, and then they will take your questions. To begin, let’s talk about Maher.

Ms. RAZZOUK Is: Please accept my sincere gratitude, Doris, and thank each and every one of you for being here today. Having the opportunity to participate in this discussion around the Summit for Democracy, which will take place in Seoul, South Korea from March 18th to the 20th, is a great pleasure.

By now, you are all aware that President Biden initiated the very first Summit for Democracy in the year 2021. Additionally, the United States of America worked with four partner nations from all around the world to co-host the second summit in the year 2023. During the previous year, I was given the opportunity to take part in the events that took place in Costa Rica. These events were centered on youth and the empowerment of young people in the promotion of democracy.

This year, we are quite pleased to announce that the Republic of South Korea has been given the responsibility of leading the third summit. This exemplifies the fact that the promotion and protection of democracy is a shared aspiration as well as a shared responsibility. It is a desire that is shared by people all over the world to live in free societies in which their governments listen to their views and respect their human dignity.

Additionally, this year’s summit takes place at a crucial juncture amid what has been referred to as the year of elections. At this moment, we are at a turn of events. It is possible that the year 2024 will be one of the most significant election years in the history of the world. National elections are scheduled to take place in forty countries, which together account for approximately half of the world’s population. The Republic of South Korea has selected “Democracy for Future Generations” as its theme for this year’s elections. This is something that we have also endeavored to emphasize, given the significant role that young people play in defending and supporting democracy.

Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State, will serve as the leader of the United States delegation that will attend the meeting. Senior officials from the United States government who are in charge of leading important components of the United States government’s engagement on summit themes will be part of the United States delegation that will go to Seoul.

Members of the White House National Security Council, representatives from the Department of State, and representatives from the United States Agency for International Development are among those featured here. We seek to bring attention to the various ways in which the United States continues to take the lead in bolstering democratic resilience and respect for human rights in numerous countries across the world. The expansion of our support for free and independent media, the implementation of real measures to combat corruption, the allocation of more resources to strengthen democratic reformers and human rights advocates, and our sustained emphasis on free and fair elections around the world are all included in this.

For the first time, we have made the decision to hold a meeting on the subject of the inappropriate use of commercial spyware as part of the high-level event that the United States will be hosting at the summit. Since the beginning of the Biden administration, this matter has been a top focus. We have taken a number of important actions to address this issue, which Coordinator Bitar will detail, and the reason we are bringing this to your attention at the summit is because it is not only a threat to national security and intelligence, but it is also a challenge to democracy. The misuse of commercial spyware by governments has been related to arbitrary detentions, disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and international repression. This is in addition to the fact that the misuse of commercial spyware by governments has been linked to the erosion of democratic ideals.

When it comes to human rights and fundamental freedoms, the threat that commercial spyware poses is not merely a theoretical situation. When commercial spyware is used inappropriately, it has a significant influence on the capacity of courageous people all over the world to express themselves and their opinions. There is a restriction placed on the capacity of journalists to reveal the truth to the communities they serve all around the world. Because of this, opposition candidates are unable to freely challenge the current quo because of this.

In addition, and probably even more importantly, these dangers are not limited to individuals who have been confirmed to have had an incursion. As a result, they have a chilling effect on important reporting, they undermine independent media, they impede the uncovering of corruption, they intimidate opposition candidates, they undermine political competitiveness, and they strengthen authoritarian conditions. Because of this, even the most courageous people, those who struggle for freedom, democracy, and the truth, may find themselves living in a state of continual terror that they cannot escape. We will be bringing together in Seoul those voices from civil society, from governments, and from the commercial sector in order to debate this significant issue and the multistakeholder strategy that will be taken to address it.

Now I would like to hand it over to Coordinator Bitar, who will talk about the joint statement on efforts to counter the proliferation and misuse of commercial spyware that was launched at the second Summit for Democracy that took place the previous year, as well as a set of actions that the United States has taken since the second summit on this issue. I am grateful to you.

To Mr. Bitar: I am grateful to you. As Kelly pointed out, the United States government is currently engaged in an all-encompassing campaign to combat the growth and misuse of commercial spyware. This is something that we consider to be a danger to both human rights and national security. Kelly pointed out that the abuse of commercial spyware has posed a specific risk for persons working for the United States Government and has had devastating implications all around the world. Journalists from all over the world, including yourselves, have been the targets of such sophisticated commercial monitoring equipment. Political players, human rights campaigners, and ordinary citizens have also been targeted by this technology.

At the second Summit for Democracy, which took place in March of last year, we announced a number of different actions, as many of you will remember. In order to control the use of commercial spyware by the United States government, President Biden issued a new executive order, which is the first case of its sort anywhere in the world. This was an important step toward ensuring that the United States Government does not utilize or facilitate commercial spyware that constitutes a counterintelligence threat to the United States or is being used – misused against Americans or to target activists, journalists, dissidents, and other individuals. Second, to make use of the purchasing power of the United States government in order to deter the inappropriate use of commercial spyware; and third, to set an example for other countries across the world.

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