Promoting democratic values and good governance has been a core component of the Summit of the Americas since the first Summit in 1994, with leaders at the Third Summit in 2001 articulating the principles that would later be embodied in the Inter-American Democratic Charter and pledging to further fight corruption that undermines democratic governance at the Eight Summit in 2018. This Summit, with the theme “Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future,” continue this tradition. Our Administration and partners will push back against the threats to our democracies by fortifying democratic institutions, investing in civil society, strengthening independent media, and following through on a regional digital transformation that is transparent and equitable.
- Implementing the Inter-American Action Plan on Democratic Governance: The Administration announced the “Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal” at the December 2021 Summit of Democracy, and the Department of State and USAID have dedicated over $477 million to support democracy, human rights, fighting corruption, and the rule of law in the Western Hemisphere. We will also advance the work of governments in the Western Hemisphere related to financial transparency and justice reform in line with the Summit for Democracy Year of Action. Our continued contributions will support the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Implementation Review Mechanism and the Follow-Up Mechanism to the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (MESICIC).
- Investments in Civil Society: A resilient, effective, and thriving civil society is an essential building block of democracy, fighting corruption, and inclusive, equitable development. Working with Congress, the Administration will invest approximately $75 million over three years across 300 locally based, community-led organizations via the U.S. Government’s Inter-American Foundation to empower local civil society organizations, including underrepresented and underserved populations. Additional support will strengthen the Citizen Forum of the Americas to build civil society’s capacity to engage with governments and monitor implementation of Summit commitments, and expand the Citizen Corruption Observatory, which provides technical assistance for civil society’s anti-corruption efforts.
- USAID will launch the interagency Voices (Voces) Initiative, devoting $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 Countering Criminalization and Providing Protection. The Unite 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 protection of internationally recognized human rights such as freedom of expression and association.
- Promoting Independent Media and Information Integrity: The United States joined Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay as inaugural members of the Organization of American States (OAS) Group of Friends of Freedom of Expression and Journalism and will work with these countries to address attacks against media and efforts to silence critical voices. In parallel, we will provide seed funding and will endorse the OAS and U.S.-based non-government partners to launch the Center for Media and Information Integrity program. The United States will also expand its Digital Communications Network, a cross-section of digital leaders, developers, influencers, educators, and specialists to bridge the divide between digital, traditional media, and new media, to the Americas to enable local partners to better address disinformation.
- Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse: Online harassment and abuse is a shared challenge to the full and equal participation of women and girls, one that spans hemispheres. Reinforcing our countries’ shared commitments to advancing the status of women and girls as a precondition of strengthening our democracies, Canada and Chile will join the United States as members of the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse. First announced at the U.S. Summit for Democracy, the Global Partnership brings together a core set of partner countries to jointly commit to a Year of Action—in consultation with government partners, international organizations, academics, civil society, and the private sector—to improve the response to technology-facilitated gender-based violence and promote effective prevention strategies.