Strengthening democracies across the Americas

People sitting around large table seen from above (© J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images)
Leaders from Western Hemisphere nations gather in Miami for the Summit of the Americas December 10, 1994. (© J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images)

Since the first Summit of the Americas in 1994, Western Hemisphere leaders have put democracy at the forefront of their priorities.

At this year’s summit, held in Los Angeles the first full week of June, countries will commit to:

  • Free and fair elections.
  • Protection of human rights defenders, environmental defenders, journalists, workers, women and girls in all their diversity, and members of vulnerable and marginalized groups.
  • Open government.
  • Combating corruption.
  • Anti-corruption reporting and oversight.
Antony Blinken speaking at lectern (© Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Images)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the 52nd annual Conference on the Americas luncheon at the State Department in Washington May 3. (© Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Images)

“We have a responsibility also to speak up and speak out collectively when we see governments weakening democracy at home, clamping down on the free press, threatening political opponents, undermining the independence of the courts,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said May 3.

The United States is dedicated to upholding its own commitments, including listening to the recommendations of diverse voices and supporting democracy, transparency and good governance. All are priorities during the Summit for Democracy’s Year of Action.

Other countries, such as Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Paraguay and Peru, also made commitments and set goals ahead of the summit.

Their commitments focus on upholding democratic values, promoting human rights and fighting the climate crisis.

In addition to government leaders, representatives from business entities and nongovernmental organizations will discuss their plans for strengthening and achieving these goals. There will also be a youth summit and a media summit.

“The United States has planned the most inclusive Summit of the Americas in history, ensuring that civil society groups, leaders from the private sector will not just be included in the meetings in Los Angeles; they’ll be able to engage directly with the governments,” Blinken said.