This month, we commemorate the twenty-second anniversary of the adoption of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which states that “the peoples of the Americas have a right to democracy and their governments have an obligation to promote and defend it.” The Democratic Charter serves as a model for democracy advocates globally, including through its emphasis on democracy’s importance to the social, political, and economic development of the hemisphere.
As we reflect on this milestone, the United States renews our commitment to safeguarding democracy, strengthening inclusive and effective governmental institutions, protecting the vital role played by independent civil society, and upholding the inherent dignity of every individual.
While democracy has made strides in the Americas since the adoption of the Democratic Charter, we cannot ignore the current challenges it faces, including from political polarization, corruption, disinformation, and transnational organized crime. To address these challenges, the United States is firmly committed to joint efforts through the Organization of American States and to joint follow-up on commitments adopted at the Ninth Summit of the Americas hosted by President Biden in Los Angeles in June 2022.
We welcome the important step taken this week to advance the establishment of the new Voluntary Group of OAS Member States to Support Follow-Up on the Inter-American Democratic Charter, as mandated by the June 2023 OAS General Assembly. This significant new effort will serve to strengthen regional democracies, counter threats to democratic institutions, and enhance the application and use of the Democratic Charter. Through our participation in the Voluntary Group, the United States will work to engage all interested OAS member states in support of this open and collaborative effort. Only by working together with transparency and mutual respect can the Democratic Charter continue to serve as an indispensable tool for the strengthening of inclusive democracy across the Americas.