Happy New Year from the World Movement for Democracy!
The World Movement for Democracy will embark on exciting new ventures in 2022, and we’d like to give you a preview of what’s to come. Leveraging our work in the past year, we will build greater unity of effort for expanding civic space and empowering the next generation of committed democrats to achieve their democratic ambitions. To do so, we will elevate our work supporting democracy activists by connecting with each other, sharing resources, and inspiring civic movements.
- Connecting: Our 11th Global Assembly in Taipei, Taiwan in October will be an exciting opportunity for over 400 democracy activists, experts, parliamentarians, and donors from dozens of countries to build solidarity across national and regional boundaries. By facilitating networking and peer-learning, we will develop synergies among different initiatives to counter today’s authoritarian challenges and help foster democratic momentum. Recognizing that young people today are organizing themselves and practicing democracy differently from previous generations, the 11th Assembly will also pay greater attention to the younger generation of democracy advocates, who will share their visions for a democratic future.
- Sharing resources: The World Movement empowers democracy advocates by facilitating learning and sharing knowledge and resources. The Crossover Initiative, which equips civil society leaders to shift from activism to governance and helping democracy deliver, will continue to build multimedia resources. We’ll launch a new podcast series spotlighting youth leaders who recently joined government. Using these resources, the World Movement has convened, and will continue organizing, national and regional meetings and discussions to build Crossover support networks. Please check out the online resource hub and previous virtual events.
To defend and claim democratic space, the World Movement will further mobilize civil society and political actors to address ongoing and emerging challenges to civic space. To this end, the World Movement will grow its advocacy network of civil society organizations to strengthen international platforms that protect human rights norms and will share advocacy tools with civil society organizations to defend their right to receive funding.
- Inspiring: The World Movement fosters greater unity among democracy advocates by raising the profile of inspiring democracy advocacy. For example, we use photography as a means to spark debates and engagements among young activists around the world. “Democracy Through My Eyes,” launched last year, is part of such effort.
This year marks the 10th Anniversary of our Hurford Youth Fellowship Hurford Youth Fellows demonstrate their inspiring leadership in organizing their respective communities to expand youth political participation. Some Fellows are leading journalists in their countries. Others have become leading voices at international discussions on democracy. For example, Ateki Seta Caxton represented African youth at the Africa-France Summit. Margarita Maira and Patricia Zanella were featured on panels in the recent Summit for Democracy, hosted by the US. We look forward to welcoming the 2022 Cohort of the Hurford Youth Fellows in March.
The courage displayed by frontline activists is also a source of inspiration for us, and the World Movement recognizes and celebrates such courage by presenting Democracy Courage Tributes. The 2021 Courage Tributes were given to:
— Independent Journalists in the Middle East and North Africa
— Advocates for Democracy in East Turkistan, Hong Kong, and Tibet
— Artists Fighting for Freedom of Expression in Cuba–The San Isidro Movement
— Pro-democracy Journalists in Burma.
At this year’s Global Assembly in Taiwan, we will present the 2022 Democracy Courage Tributes to show our solidarity with democracy movements and demonstrate resilience of our global democracy movement.
Building on last year’s 10th Assembly, held virtually due to Covid risk, we will increase our efforts for assisting civil society groups to deepen and expand their partnerships for mobilizing collective action. Through national and regional discussions and meetings as part of the 10th Assembly, we worked with more partners to broaden their networks than ever. Leading up to the 11th Assembly in Taiwan, we will again organize similar national and regional meetings and hope many of you will be part of this journey.
We look forward to your active participation in our action plan. Let’s rebuild democratic momentum together.
The World Movement Secretariat