International Day of Democracy

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim

Statement by Acting USAID Administrator John Barsa

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Office of Press Relations

September 15 is the International Day of Democracy. On this day, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) underscores the ongoing and critical need to strengthen citizen-responsive democratic governance around the world. As an Agency, we support transparent and effective governments, unalienable rights, religious freedom, protection of life, and robust civil societies that can exercise their rights; hold their governments accountable; and protect the most vulnerable, including the unborn.

To reinforce these principles, at the beginning of the year we launched the Agency's communications campaign "Democracy Is." The campaign reiterated our commitment to strengthening democratic governance and highlighted our democracy investments around the world. The campaign culminates in a public event on the International Day of Democracy, during which I delivered a keynote address, and a panel of USAID-supported democracy heroes who are promoting transparency, civic engagement, religious freedom, justice, and human rights in their communities.

Around the world today, we see growing repression and crackdowns largely driven by the desperation of authoritarian governments to suppress increasingly vocal public demands against poor governance and violations of people's rights. All of this further highlights the importance of USAID's work to promote and protect democracy-which is more important than ever during these unprecedented times.

We remain steadfast in our belief that democracy is the very foundation of any society. One that respects the unalienable rights of all people, including the right to life, that advances human dignity, and that gives all citizens the opportunity to thrive and choose their leaders and their own path-free from external intervention.