What will a summit for democracy accomplish?

Fulfilling a campaign pledge won’t be easy, even if it showcases America’s network of friends.

United States and its allies must work hard to persuade the world that their political systems should still serve as an inspiration and emulation by other nations.PHOTO: AFP

During his electoral campaign last year, US President Joe Biden made very few foreign policy commitments. Yet one promise stood out: A pledge that, if elected, he will hold within his first year in office a summit of leaders from all democratic countries, who would be asked to join forces in "defending against authoritarianism" and "advancing human rights".

Mr Biden is keeping his promise: His "Summit for Democracy" is just weeks away. But the initiative, initially touted as a first-of-its-kind, has now been downgraded to just a virtual summit for which both the agenda and the list of invitees are yet to be finalised or made public.

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