Join NDI in a call for governments and civil society to take urgent action to defend democracy during COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented challenge to democracies, with authoritarian opportunists seeking to use the crisis as cover to erode democracy. On June 25th, NDI joined dozens of pro-democracy organizations worldwide to co-sponsor the “Call to Defend Democracy” letter, a strong public statement affirming the importance of democracies - and those who treasure democracy - to remain vigilant against the encroachment of autocrats in the age of COVID. The letter was signed by more than 500 prominent individuals from 119 countries, representatives from nearly 100 international organizations, 13 Nobel Laureates, and 62 former heads of state or government.
In a follow up to the letter, NDI has joined 10 sister organizations worldwide, including the National Endowment for Democracy and the International Republican Institute, to co-sponsor a new report entitled “Global Democracy and COVID-19: Upgrading International Support.” The report describes specific challenges facing democracy in the COVID era, program adaptations for democracy organizations - including NDI - to meet the challenge, and recommendations for policymakers, donors and practitioners about how to keep track and counteract the negative impacts on democracy of the current moment.
The report’s recommendations include:
1) Establishing a comprehensive monitoring mechanism to track restrictive emergency measures and guide potential international responses
2) Incorporating democracy support into COVID-19 emergency and recovery aid
3) Investing in multilateral cooperation to safeguard democratic norms and practices
4) Providing support to new civic participation initiatives that have emerged as a result of the pandemic
5) Harnessing emergent innovations in democratic participation, such as online protests, parliamentary digitalisation and e-voting
We are at a global inflection point as authoritarians test our resolve to defend democracy and democratic norms worldwide. Through NDI’s global network and nearly four decades of on-the-ground experience in every corner of the world, the Institute remains committed to defending the dignity of every citizen and their right to a government that is accountable, transparent and inclusive, during crises and beyond.