WASHINGTON – The US Department of State on Wednesday released the list of invited participants ahead of its planned virtual Summit for Democracy. During the two-day event, expected to take place on December 9-10, President Biden will host “leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector,” the State Department said.
“The summit will focus on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and will provide a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad.”
The Middle East participant list included Israel and Iraq, while US allies such as Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates were not invited. Turkey, a NATO ally, does not appear on the participant list either.
The Biden administration also did not invite Hungary, a member of the EU, and two of America’s main rivals: Russia, and China, while Taiwan and Ukraine were invited.
The administration extended the invitation to over 100 countries overall, including most EU countries, the United Kingdom, India, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“For the United States, the summit will offer an opportunity to listen, learn, and engage with a diverse range of actors whose support and commitment is critical for global democratic renewal,” the State Department said in its announcement. “It will also showcase one of democracy’s unique strengths: the ability to acknowledge its imperfections and confront them openly and transparently, so that we may, as the United States Constitution puts it, “form a more perfect union.””
According to the administration, the summit will include three key themes: Defending against authoritarianism; addressing and fighting corruption; and promoting respect for human rights. The idea is to “solicit bold, practicable ideas” around these themes, the State Department said.
“Leaders will be encouraged to announce specific actions and commitments to meaningful internal reforms and international initiatives that advance the Summit’s goals,” the announcement reads.
“These pledges will include domestic and international initiatives that counter authoritarianism, combat corruption, and promote respect for human rights.”