This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Biden co-hosting the second Summit for Democracy

CNN  — 

President Joe Biden is co-hosting the second Summit for Democracy on Wednesday, expanding on the diplomatic initiatives he established in 2021 to bolster democracies around the world in the face of autocracies’ growing global influence.

This year’s multi-day summit is being co-hosted by Biden, as well as the leaders of Costa Rica, the Netherlands, South Korea and Zambia. After a morning introduction on Wednesday, Biden will lead a virtual summit event in Washington that’s focused on democracy delivering on global challenges.

During the summit, the Biden administration will announce new steps to counter the abuse and misuse of technology, including a “joint commitment” with foreign partners “to counter the proliferation and misuse of commercial spyware,” according to an administration official.

The announcement is coming days after the president issued an executive order banning US government agencies from using spyware that is deemed a threat to US national security or are implicated in human rights abuses. On Monday, CNN reported at least 50 US government officials are suspected or confirmed to have been targeted by invasive commercial spyware designed to hack mobile phones, revealing a far bigger number than previously known.

As part of Wednesday’s announcement, the official told reporters on a call Tuesday, the administration and its partners will release a set of “guiding principles on how rights-respecting governments should use surveillance technology more broadly,” noting that while surveillance and spyware technologies may, “of course, have lawful applications,” they “have been shown to be heavily misused by authoritarian states.”

Each host nation is focusing on a separate so-called “pillar” of democracy during plenary sessions throughout the summit: supporting free and independent media, combating corruption, bolstering democratic reforms and supporting human rights, advancing technology for democracy, and defending free and fair elections. Biden is expected to announce $690 million in funding through USAID and State Department programs to further efforts to protect all five “pillars,” the official said.

National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday that the US will be announcing a number of new initiatives over the coming days tied to the summit, including “significant additional investment in the Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal,” which was launched at the first summit in 2021.

Ukraine is taking part in the summit, with President Volodymyr Zelensky participating in a Tuesday session virtually with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Zelensky is also expected to speak during Biden’s plenary summit Wednesday. In addition, Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is scheduled to address the summit.

Taiwan has also been invited to participate in the summit “in a manner that is consistent with our long standing policy,” the administration official said, with remarks scheduled from Taiwan’s minister of digital affairs on the agenda.

Biden hosted the first Summit for Democracy in December 2021, bringing together more than 100 participants representing governments, civil society and private-sector leaders virtually amid continued precautions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 2021 summit focused on combating corruption, defending against authoritarianism and promoting human rights.

The establishment of the summit, led by Biden, was largely seen as a show of force in opposition to autocracies – a broad theme he’s reinforced throughout his time in office.