Days Before Summit for Democracy, Principal Deputy NSA Jon Finer Briefs Chiefs of Mission

Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer previews the Summit for Democracy at Meridian International Center on December 7, 2021. Photo by Jess Latos

The Center for Diplomatic Engagement hosted an event in-person and virtually on December 7 for an Insights@Meridian program with Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer, moderated by Stephenie Foster, Partner, Smash Strategies.  

Here are some top takeaways from the fireside chat.  

  1. The Summit for Democracy covers a wide array of issues. The Summit for Democracy has three thematic pillars: strengthening democracy and defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights, which includes internet rights, voting rights, media freedom, and activist protection among other components. The Biden administration has committed to key initiatives in these core areas including the recently announced U.S. National Strategy on Countering Corruption. Each country is also expected to make their own goals and commitments. This Summit will kick off a Year of Action through 2022. 
  2. The U.S. and allies are stronger with a unified voice. The U.S. and like-minded nations should show that the democratic system of governance delivers most effectively and best for its own people. In the global competition of ideas, democratic nations increase their strength by having unified positions on key transnational issues in strategic areas like COVID-19, climate change, new technology, and terrorism. 
  3. By reengaging globally, the U.S. can compete from its strongest position. The U.S. is committed to having a stronger position in all regions in the world. In the Western Hemisphere, the U.S. seeks to rebuild relationships with allies through economic cooperation. In Europe, the Biden administration is proactively engaging on emerging issues through the creation of mechanism such as the U.S.-E.U. Trade and Technology Council. The U.S. is reengaging with African nations on COVID-19, including by donating vaccine doses. The U.S. strives to engage in the Pacific through key allies across multiple domains.
  4. The U.S. and allies are developing a high-standard infrastructure programThe Build Back Better World global infrastructure initiative was announced in June at a meeting of G7 leaders. Through a combination of U.S. funds, development funds and assistance, and a strong private sector (a key strategic advantage), the U.S. and its allies can provide transparent and high-standard infrastructure projects for low and middle-income nations in a values-driven, good governance, and climate-friendly manner. The initiative emphasizes that public-private partnerships can contribute tstrengthening democratic institutions in the developing world. 

The Center for Diplomatic Engagement would like to thank our exclusive airline partner, United Airlines, for generously supporting this program.

ResourcesFact Sheet: Announcing the Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal 

Remarks By President Biden At the Summit for Democracy Opening Session

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