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Safeguarding Democracy in the Americas: How to Strengthen the Inter-American Democratic Charter

Safeguarding Democracy in the Americas: How to Strengthen the Inter-American Democratic Charter

This is a side event to the IX Summit of the Americas

Wednesday, June 8, 2022
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
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Registration will open soon!

 

THIS WILL BE A HYBRID EVENT - in person and via live-stream

If you register for and attend a Burkle Center virtual event, you will not be seen or heard via video or audio. We will be live-streaming this event on the Burkle Center’s YouTube page. The YouTube livestream will be available below at the start of the event. 

 

ABOUT THIS EVENT

This year’s Ninth Summit of the Americas takes place amid a steady erosion of democratic values in the hemisphere. Indeed, the defense of democracy is a defining challenge for this region.

Twenty years ago, to safeguard the region’s hard-fought democratic gains, every country in the region except Cuba signed onto the Inter-American Democratic Charter. The transitional government of Peru created the initial proposal for a charter shortly before the Third Summit of the Americas in April 2001, held in Canada. In the “Declaration of Quebec City” produced at the summit, leaders agreed that democracy and the rule of law were an “essential condition” for participation in the summit process, and emphasized the need for better tools to defend democracy in the hemisphere. On September 11, 2001, in Lima, Peru, during a special session of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly, foreign ministers from the 34 democratic countries of the Americas adopted the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

Building on the OAS Charter, this historic agreement made democracy a ticket for participation in the OAS and in the summit process, and created new mechanisms to address democratic backsliding. There are many success stories. But the charter’s tools, and its enforcement by OAS member states, have not been infallible. Today, despite numerous proposals to improve the application of the charter, there are three authoritarian states in Latin America and many others in the Western Hemisphere where the balance of power, judicial independence and civil liberties have greatly diminished. At the same time, scores of citizens across the region have lost faith in democracy. This year’s Summit of the Americas offers an opportunity to consider what has led to undeniable successes in the region and considers solutions to present challenges.

On June 8, in Los Angeles, the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Burkle Center for International Relations and Latin American Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), The Carter Center, and the Community of Democracies will convene experts and senior leaders to discuss ways to strengthen the collective defense of democracy in the Americas.

This regional democracy dialogue, taking place on the margins of the Summit of the Americas, is designed to generate and advance realistic policy recommendations to improve the charter’s application by OAS member states.

 

The event will be open to the public and streamed live online. There will be two roundtable discussions at 90 minutes each with a break in between. 


Sponsor(s): Latin American Institute, Burkle Center for International Relations, This event is additionally co-sponsored by the UCLA Latin American Institute, The Carter Center, Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Community of Democracies.