Biden's democracy summit
On Thursday, President Biden welcomed civil society activists, business leaders, journalists, and over 100 countries to the Summit for Democracy. The event, the first of two Summits for Democracy, will, “bring together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector,” to, ‘tackle the greatest threats faced by democracies today through collective action.’ Biden has claimed that the US will ‘lead by example, investing in their own democracy,’ and to reaffirm this, the White House has announced a plan to spend around $242 million, in order to support typical staples of democracy, such as independent news and fair elections.
The organisation of the summit, however, has drawn criticism. Countries with troubled histories concerning human rights, such as the Philippines, were invited, whereas NATO allies such as Hungary were not. Hungary’s politicians have responded by saying that their state “does not have the same serious democratic problems as the United States,” in reference to the widespread belief within the US that the 2020 election results were inaccurate. Russia and China, who were not invited, have been critical of the event since before it began. Together, these two states and their respective ambassadors to Washington have created an opinion essay, which goes so far as to claim that the summit was based on a ‘Cold War mentality,’ having divided the world into competing blocs.
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