US president kicks off first ‘Summit for Democracy’

US President Joe Biden kicked off a virtual Summit for Democracy on Thursday, saying democracy does not happen by accident and needs renewal with each generation.

“This gathering has been on my mind for a long time for a simple reason,” Biden said at the opening of the two-day event.

“In the face of sustained and alarming challenges to democracy, universal human rights, and all around the world, democracy needs champions,” he said.

The event brings together leaders from government, civil society and the private sector.

Biden said renewing democracy and strengthening democratic institutions even in the US requires constant effort.

He noted that around the world, press freedom is under threat and said the US is committed to launching efforts to sustain independent media around the world.

“This summit is a kickoff of a year in action for all of our countries to follow through on our commitments, and report back next year on the progress we’ve made,” he said.

“Democracies are not all the same, we don’t agree on everything, all of us in this meeting today, but the choices we make together are going to define, in my view, the course of our shared future for generations to come,” he added.

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