Promoting democratic values and good governance has been a central feature of the Summit of the Americas since the first Summit in 1994, with leaders at the Third Summit in 2001 setting out the principles that would later be incorporated into the Inter-American Democratic Charter and committing to further tackle the corruption that undermines democratic governance at the Eighth Summit in 2018. This Summit, whose theme is “Building a Sustainable, Resilient and Equitable Future”, continues this tradition. Our administration and our partners will repel threats to our democracies by fortifying democratic institutions, investing in civil society, strengthening independent media, and pursuing a transparent and equitable regional digital transformation.
- Implementation of the Inter-American Plan of Action on Democratic Governance: The administration announced the “President’s Initiative for Democratic Renewal” at the December 2021 Democracy Summit, and the State Department and USAID have committed more than $477 million to support democracy, human rights, the fight against corruption and the rule of law in Western countries. Hemisphere. We will also advance the work of Western Hemisphere governments on financial transparency and justice reform in line with the Democracy Summit Year of Action. Our continued contributions will support the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Implementation Review Mechanism and the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (MESICIC) Follow-up Mechanism.
- Investments in civil society: A resilient, effective and thriving civil society is an essential element of democracy, the fight against corruption and inclusive and equitable development. Working with Congress, the Administration will invest approximately $75 million over three years in 300 local community-led organizations through the U.S. government’s Inter-American Foundation to empower local civil society organizations, including underrepresented populations and underserved. Additional support will strengthen the Citizens’ Forum of the Americas to build the capacity of civil society to engage with governments and monitor the implementation of Summit commitments, and expand the Citizens’ Observatory on Corruption, which provides assistance technical support to civil society’s anti-corruption efforts.
- USAID will launch the interagency Voice Initiative (Voice), dedicating $42 million to protect, defend and promote civic space in Central America. These programs will focus on promoting digital democracy and countering digital authoritarianism; Promoting freedom of expression and strengthening independent media; and Anti-Criminalization and Protection. The United States will work alongside like-minded partners — governments in the region and beyond, the international community, civil society, the private sector, and others — to advocate for the protection of human rights. internationally recognized rights such as freedom of expression and association.
- Promote the integrity of independent media and information: The United States joined Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Uruguay as inaugural members of the Group of Friends of Freedom of of Expression and Journalism of the Organization of American States (OAS) and will work with these countries to address attacks on the media and efforts to silence critical voices. In parallel, we will provide seed funding and support the OAS and US-based non-governmental partners to launch the Center for Media and Information Integrity program. The United States will also extend its digital communications network, a cross section of digital leaders, developers, influencers, educators and specialists to bridge the gap between digital, traditional and new media, to the Americas to to enable local partners to better fight against misinformation.
- Global Partnership for Action Against Online Gender-Based Harassment and Abuse: Online harassment and abuse is a common challenge to the full and equal participation of women and girls, a challenge that spans all hemispheres. Reinforcing our countries’ shared commitments to advancing the status of women and girls as a prerequisite for strengthening our democracies, Canada and Chile will join the United States as members of the Global Partnership to Action Against Bullying and online gender-based abuse. First announced at the US Democracy Summit, the Global Partnership brings together a set of partner countries to jointly commit to a Year of Action – in consultation with government partners, international organizations, academia, society and the private sector – to improve the response to technology-enabled gender-based violence and promote effective prevention strategies.