Contributed by Joe Montero
On Thursday, Washington DC witnessed the conclusion of the so-called second “Summit for Democracy”, where President Joe Biden gathered representatives from around 120 countries in a stage-managed event that was supposed, they said, to “renew democracy.”
Just what is this kind of democracy?
Cartoon from Global Times
Like the first summit, this one made it clear that only Washington’s version of democracy would be allowed. This is all about maintaining western dominance across the planet with the United States at the head.
The text of the agenda said there was to be discussion about accountability for human rights, combatting corruption, supporting free elections, democracy, addressing global challenges, including sustainable development, climate change, global health, and food security.
These are important causes about which peoples across the planet want answers for. But they were handled in a way that made it clear they only used as weapons to target nations labelled as the enemy. The speaking list was mostly a roll call of handpicked Washington officials and the usual suspects among world leaders. this was always going to serve an agenda other than the officially provided one.
How can there be a genuine discussion and agreement on democracy in the absence of an equal voice and ownership for all parties? There can’t be, and this was the point.
By its end, the summit had fizzled out and become another major embarrassment for the United States, lowering its prestige among the family of nations even further. Most of the embedded media limited its reporting of the Summit for this reason.
Many of the 120 nations represented saw right through this and refused to endorse the Washington generated declaration listing many issues and including a condemnation of Russia. Seventy three voted for it, and 14 of these under economic and political pressure and with reservations. Forty seven voted against. But when considered along with those nations not invited because they do not subtribe to Washington’s foreign policy, less than half of the world’s nations are in support.
Important issues stated in the official agenda were pushed to the background and replaced by an intention to impose a particular ideological position, hammering home, the intention to impose a global order under the control of the US led axis. Washington pushes the false claim that only on its authority can the problems of the world be solved.
This is the foundation for the concept of exceptionalism, which holds that the United States and those who collaborate with it, should not be held accountable and everyone else should be. This is not democracy.
Washington’s version of democracy centres around the slogan of defending the “rules based international order.” An order imposed after World War Two though the Bretton Woods agreement, which imposed an economic and political order dominated by the United States. The rules-based system means the continuation of this dominance.
Nations disadvantaged by this have long tried to break away. Now, with the relative decline in the influence of the United States and the rise of new poles, the conditions for nations to become more assertive an independent is becoming increasingly favourable and taken advantage of.
The Mexican and Brazilian governments were invited and were there. They are important because they are major powers in heir region. Mexico signed the declaration reluctantly, and made it clear there is no support for the attack on Russia. Brazil refused to sign. Both are shifting to an independent foreign policy, aimed at building good relationships with all nations and not falling into the geopolitics of a superpower.
Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador called the United States an oligarchy and not a democracy at the first summit at the first summit and the same at this one.
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) called out the US at the first summit on 29 March
The summit saw Africa speaking together with a stronger voice. For instance, Nigerian representative they can deal with all their partners without choosing sides or favouring one partner over another amid the West’s “double standards and hypocrisy.”
He went on to say: “We still have the US insistent on promotion of democracy, its version of democracy… And that for many countries is problematic ….”
Although a blow to Washington, the outcome of the Second Summit for Democracy was a good one for the world.