The Summit for Democracy concluded with the promise of Joe Biden to convene a new meeting in 2022.

The%20Summit%20for%20Democracy%20concluded%20with%20the%20promise%20of%20Joe%20Biden%20to%20convene%20a%20new%20meeting%20in%202022.
source: aljazeera.com

The Summit for Democracy concluded with the promise of Joe Biden to convene a new meeting in 2022.

The multilateral forum concluded without an agreement, but with the call of the North American president to put into practice, the commitments expressed during the conference.

The Summit for Democracy, organized by the United States and in which a hundred countries with notable absences such as China and Russia have been present, virtually ended this Friday without concrete agreements and with the promise of the country's president, Joe Biden, of call a new appointment in 2022.

Biden called on the attendees to meet in a year, if possible in person, to review the fulfillment of the commitments launched in these two days of speeches. However, there has not been a specific consensus reached by the participants in the appointment.

This multilateral forum concluded as it began, with a speech by the host in which Biden insisted on the need to continue collaborating to strengthen democracies from threats such as disinformation, corruption, or authoritarianism.

He considered that government leaders have a responsibility to strengthen democracies by promoting reforms aimed at transparency and accountability, and resilience against those who bet on authoritarianism.

He also said that it is necessary to work with the private sector to combat corruption and build more egalitarian economies.

When speaking of American commitments, Biden said not only of collaborating in the strengthening of democracies in the world; he also cited national challenges, and especially that of defending the "sacred right to vote freely," at a time when Several Republican states have passed regulations that Democrats claim restrict this right.

TECHNOLOGICAL REGULATION, KEY TO DEMOCRACY

Although Biden's speech was a review of everything that was spoken at this summit, the debates on this second day were focused on the role of technology and the need for rules to regulate it to avoid attacks on democracy.

The Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, defended in this sense the need to regulate the digital world so that it serves the purposes and the common good and called to combat all forms of extremism and populism to strengthen democracies.

Guterres considered that the pandemic has generated "greater contempt for democracy" and insisted on the need to condemn "all forms of populism, nativism, and extremism using all the tools available in the technological revolution."

That is why he warned that the digital world must be regulated to serve the common good, especially at a time like the current one in which "many times the truth is not promoted on social networks," which causes "anxiety and despair" In societies.

SELF-CONTROL

The vice president of Microsoft, Brad Smith, also spoke about disinformation. In his speech in one of the debates in this forum, he opted for the "self-control" of the technology industry to protect democracies and human rights. "No industry or technology can be above the law," he said.

"We have to recognize that our business models, our systems, our algorithms can be misused, by ourselves or by our adversaries to undermine institutions," Smith admitted.

That is why he considered a "new generation" of laws and regulations for technology necessary. In this way, he added, the required trust of citizens is maintained to protect democracy.

Taiwan's digital minister, Audrey Tang, intervened in a panel in which she cited the COVID-19 infection tracking system put in place by her government, which respected the privacy of citizens, as an example of the necessary "trust." between economic sectors and between citizens and their institutions to preserve democratic values.

Despite the enthusiasm of Biden and his Administration with the holding of the summit, several of his senior officials already ruled out on Thursday that the multilateral meeting would end with a joint agreement signed by all participating countries.

"We do not plan to have a joint document or communiqué at the end of the summit because this is only the beginning; there is much work to be done," said one of these sources from the US Government in a call with journalists.

Along these lines, Biden stressed this Friday in his speech that now it is time to practice the commitments expressed by each other and examine what has been done in the 2022 appointment.

What is intended is that until the next summit, there will be a "year of action" in which dialogues are organized. The announced commitments are deepened, which could be classified according to different issues such as the fight against corruption, technologies, the state of law, workers' rights, or democratic reforms.

This was pointed out in a telephone press conference after the summit's closing, the Undersecretary of Civil Security, Democracy and Human Rights of the Biden Government, Uzra Zeya.

Zeya assured that in its election of the participants, the United States has not tried to act as an "arbitrator" on which country is or is not a democracy. That is a question that rests on the citizens of each country, he said.

As stated, the United States tried to be "inclusive and participatory" in its invitations, and "the non-inclusion at the summit is not intended to be a sign of disapproval."