2019: The Year Ahead

December 31, 2018

Happy New Year! This year, the World Movement for Democracy will celebrate its 20th anniversary. At the First Global Assembly in New Delhi, India, the founding members of the World Movement envisioned creating a network of democrats to build international solidarity by exchanging ideas and experiences and fostering collaboration among democratic forces around the world. Over the last 20 years, we have been proud to support the growth and success of such a network. Whether you are a longtime participant or new to our network, we thank you for being part of the World Movement for Democracy.

In 2019, we will leverage the outcomes of the past year’s activities in the following ways:

  • Crafting global responses to today’s challenges to democracy. The World Movement encourages democrats to think collectively and strategize about addressing evolving authoritarian tactics, as we did by convening over 430 participants at another successful Global Assembly in Dakar, Senegal this year. In the face of shrinking civic space, the World Movement also continues to strengthen advocacy mechanisms for civil society to protect and expand its space. In defense of the right to access donor funding, we facilitated strategy discussions, developed informational resources, and engaged with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.
  • Telling the stories of democracy activists. Through experience-based “lightning talks” the World Movement shares personal stories of successes, innovations, and struggles from within our community. One such talk given at the Assembly showed how a Slovakian NGO challenged disinformation with the help of two popular YouTubers. Through a new #SetThemFree video series, we also continue to build solidarity with political prisoners by speaking with their families.
  • Bringing civil society and political society together. The World Movement has increasingly made efforts to involve political leaders in discussions with civil society activists. As a result, several parliamentary associations formed a working group to foster collaboration with civil society activists at the Dakar Assembly. In the coming year, we are excited to support activists who wish to run for elected office or want to succeed in appointed positions by facilitating discussions with activists who have already made this transition.
  • Developing new partnerships. With nearly 35,000 participants and active regional networks, the World Movement is proud to represent and engage a diverse spectrum of voices. The World Movement has begun exploring how democracy movements can work with religious groups, the business community, and artists to broaden a support base for democracy.

Despite the significant challenges posed to democracy in 2018, the World Movement enters 2019 with renewed determination to support democrats around the globe and optimism for meaningful progress. As we increasingly leverage social media and digital efforts to drive a strong narrative in support of democracy and human rights, we are excited to reach new audiences and provide resources that will help our network find new partners and seize upcoming opportunities. This year, we are resolved to not just push back, but to regain lost ground.