Biden calls preservation of global democracy a 'challenge of our time' in a tangible conference

"This is an urgent matter," the president said at the opening of the Conference on Democracy. "The information we see points the wrong way."

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President Joe Biden on Thursday opened the first White House Democracy Summit by sounding the alarm about a global slide for democratic institutions and called on world leaders to "lock up arms" and demonstrate the democracy it can bring.

Biden called on this critical time for his fellow leaders to intensify their efforts to strengthen democracy. In taking action against the case, he noted his struggle for the passing of a domestic voting law and pointed to the United States' challenges in its institutions and its democratic culture.

"This is an urgent matter," Biden said at the opening of the two-day conference. "The information we see points the wrong way."

The video conference, something Biden called a "first year", comes as he reiterated that the US and its like-minded coalition needed to show the world that democracy is a much better way of society than democracy.

That is the essence of Biden's foreign policy vision - which he vows to look out of place than Donald Trump's predecessor "America First". Biden, in his remarks, announced that he was launching a program of spending $ 424 million on programs worldwide to support the independent media, anti-corruption work and more.

But the summit also attracted major enemies of the United States and other nations that were not invited to participate.

Ahead of the summit, US ambassadors from China and Russia wrote a joint article in the National Interest policy paper describing the Biden administration as a reflection of the "Cold-War ideology" that would eliminate ideological conflicts and divisions in the world. . ” Managers also faced scrutiny of what happened in deciding which countries to invite.

Biden told a rally that this is a time when a major decline in freedom is trending around the world, calling it the "challenge of our time."

The U.S. it may be in its place of pivot.

Elected local officials quickly resigned amid angry remarks at school board meetings, election offices and city halls. Countries enact laws that limit access to elections, making it difficult for Americans to vote. And the January 6 attacks on the Capitol left many in the Trump Republican party clinging to his false allegations of rigged elections, eroding confidence in the accuracy of the vote.

Biden said the passage of his ambitious homeland agenda - the $ 2 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill he signed into law, and the $ 2 trillion "Build Back Better Act" climate change programs moving in the Senate - would show that the will how can democracy know. improve people's lives.

Some lawmakers also want Biden to focus on other ways to strengthen democracy at home. One preliminary test will come on Thursday as the House takes action to ratify the Protection of Our Democracy Act, the third of three laws - next to the Freedom of Voting Act and the John Lewis Voting Act - particularly supported by Democrats in Congress but suspended by Republicans. eSenate.

Deputy President Kamala Harris, in closing remarks on the first day of the conference, called on Congress to pass a voting rights law.

"Here in the United States, we know that our democracy is not immune to threats," Harris said. “Jan. 6 looks great on the conscience of all of us, and the anti-voter laws passed by most states are part of a deliberate attempt to exclude Americans from participating in our democracy. ”

In its new annual report released on Wednesday, the CIVICUS Monitor, the international rights index, said 13 countries had seen their independence reduced in 2021 since last year. Only one, Mongolia, has seen civil liberties improve, according to the report.