Strengthening Democratic Systems

Speeches Shim

Strengthening democratic systems

Foundational to a free and open Indo-Pacific is the ability of governments to create and sustain the conditions needed to attract greater private investment and withstand foreign coercion—conditions that are transparent, adhere to international rules and standards, and that uphold fundamental human rights and democratic values.

Yet, democracy is facing enormous headwinds across the region. Illiberal regimes are muzzling courageous journalists, threatening human rights defenders, and handicapping civil society.

USAID is at the forefront of U.S. Government efforts to address these challenges. We focus on strengthening democratic systems, including the integrity of electoral processes; the independence of media and information integrity; a robust civil society that is capable of government oversight, civic engagement and advocacy on behalf of citizen interests; advancing the rule of law and instituting anti-corruption measures; and citizen-responsive governance that upholds and protects human rights, including civil and political rights.

USAID is leading on the Indo-Pacific Transparency Initiative, an interagency initiative aimed at promoting sound, just and responsive governance.

USAID brings extensive experience to the table. Our past achievements in this area include:

  • Following the 2018 presidential election, which led to a pro-reform government, USAID supported the establishment of the Maldives’ first Bar Council, whose members play an important role as protectors of justice—critical to fortifying much-needed democratic reforms.
  • In Sri Lanka, with USAID support, a media center utilized by more than 150 journalists to cover parliamentary proceedings received upgrades including a state-of-the-art live television studio and a digital editing suite. Journalists can now report and file in real-time from the media center, contributing to more timely, accurate, and efficient news reporting that supports more informed citizens of Sri Lanka.