U.S. Optimistic On The Health Of Democracy, Pledges New Funds to Strengthen It
President Joe Biden on Wednesday opened his second Summit for Democracy with an optimistic outlook, declaring that leaders were “turning the tide” in stemming a yearslong backslide of democratic institutions, and pledging $690 million in the coming year to boost democracy programs throughout the world, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.
"We're turning the tide here," Biden said. "We're turning the tide here," Biden said. “Today, we can say, with pride, that the democracies of the world are getting stronger, not weaker... Autocracies of the world are getting weaker, not stronger. That’s a direct result of all of us."
He went on to add, "As we often say, we're at an inflection point in history here, when the decisions we make today are going to affect the course of our world for the next several decades for certain."
The White House made it clear that Washington especially wants to make "technology work for and not against democracy." It also announced plans for the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to partner with nine other countries to work on protecting human rights and other activist groups that are at risk of facing transnational cyber attacks. The UK is co-leading the effort and Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Japan, New Zealand and Norway have also signed on.
Biden's attempt to bolster the standing of democracies comes at a time when autocratic governments have advanced their own agendas, such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Later in the day, speaking at the White House Reception on Greek National Day, Biden said, throughout history, "every generation has to step up and protect those values against democracy’s mortal foes."
"There’s nothing automatic about democracy... And we saw this during World War Two when Greece and the United States both fought the forces of fascism. We saw it in the Cold War when our people stood as one to prevail against communism. And we see it today as our nations stand together to support the brave people of Ukraine as they fight for the same values Greeks and American patriots did all those years ago: liberty, dignity... and democracy.``
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