On International Day of Democracy, September 15, the National Endowment for Democracy honors the work of our partners, who advance democracy and universal human rights in some of the world’s most difficult circumstances.
“Today, we are witnessing a crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, demonstrations in Belarus and Cuba, military coups in Burma, in Guinea, the squeezing of Hong Kong, challenges to democracy in Tunisia, manipulated elections in Nicaragua and Russia, all taking place during a global pandemic, which dictators are using to tighten their grip on power.” says National Endowment for Democracy (NED) President and Chief Executive Officer Damon Wilson.
Some governments have used the Covid-19 pandemic to abuse power, silence critics, and weaken democratic institutions, which further undermines accountability and freedom of information at a critical time. However, in other countries such as Moldova and Zambia, citizens and activists have defended independent media, combatted fake news, and kept citizens informed, pushing forward democratic breakthroughs in recent elections.
“Despite the challenges, democracy is resilient,” continues Mr. Wilson. “It’s resilient because there are people everywhere who are working at great risk to struggle for their rights and a democratic future. People who are brave enough to do this work are encouraged when they know there are people who believe in their struggle, that they are not alone.”