Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 December 2021:
Yesterday, Freetown Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr spoke at the Summit for Democracy convened by the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden.
Mayor Aki-Sawyerr was part of a high-level panel, discussing the topic – ‘Bolstering Democratic Resilience: Building Back Better from COVID-19’.
The panel explored the implications of the COVID pandemic for democracy around the world, including restrictions on universal rights and erosion of checks and balances in democratic institutions.
The session was hosted by US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken and moderated by journalist Enrique Acevedo. Other members of the panel included:
- Nana Akufo-Addo – President of Ghana
- Klaus Iohannis – President of Romania
- Silvia Hernández Sánchez – President of the Legislative Assembly, Costa Rica
- Violeta Bermudez – Former Prime Minister, Peru
- Douglas Rutzen – President, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law
Since coming to office, the Biden-Harris Administration has made clear that renewing democracy in the United States and around the world is essential to meeting the unprecedented challenges of our time.
As President Biden stated on the International Day of Democracy, “No democracy is perfect, and no democracy is ever final. Every gain made, every barrier broken, is the result of determined, unceasing work.”
President Biden is hosting the first of two Summits for Democracy which ends today, bringing together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector to set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats faced by democracies today through collective action.
“Democracy doesn’t happen by accident. We have to defend it, fight for it, strengthen it, renew it,” President Biden said in February 2021.
You can watch a clip of the panel discussion here: