bachelet3_Mahmoud HjajAnadolu Agency via Getty Images_sudanprotest Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Protecting Civil Society and Democracy

On December 9-10, US President Joe Biden will host a virtual summit aimed at reinvigorating the world’s democracies in the face of mounting autocratic challenges. Most urgently, global leaders must substantially increase investments in the civil-society organizations that provide a critical check on state power.

SANTIAGO/NEW YORK – When global leaders gather virtually on December 9-10 for US President Joe Biden’s Summit for Democracy, they ought to be asking themselves a simple question: What can we do to help democracy’s bravest advocates, like the protesters who are risking their lives in Sudan?

For months, hundreds of thousands of people have flooded Sudan’s streets, demanding an accountable government and the end of military rule, even though Sudanese security forces have met them with bullets. Dozens of protesters have died.

Their courage is not unique. From Belarus to Bolivia, and even in the United Kingdom and the United States, civil-society leaders and organizations are heading bold movements to resist structural oppression, authoritarianism, and injustice.