Summit for Democracy
- Date: 29 March
- Location: Livestream
The Netherlands will co-host the second Summit for Democracy, hosted by the United States, on March 29-30, 2023. Other co-hosts include Costa Rica, Zambia and South Korea. Worldwide, democracy and human rights are under pressure. Together, we must do all we can to prevent democratic principles from further eroding.
Program of the Summit for Democracy
During the first day of the 'Summit for Democracy', the political leaders of the four co-hosts South Korea, Zambia, Costa Rica and the Netherlands will each chair a session on the challenges facing democracies and possible responses to them. Prime Minister Rutte will do so for the theme "Democracy Delivering Justice for All.
On March 30, the Netherlands, as co-host on behalf of the broader European region, is hosting an event on media freedom. The Netherlands is committed worldwide to protecting and promoting fundamental principles such as democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Freedom of expression is a prerequisite for a well-functioning democracy. Media play an essential role in this: using platforms and resources to move ideas forward and stimulate social debate so that people can form their own opinions.
However, freedom of the press and independent media are not self-evident. In many countries, including in Europe, media freedom is under pressure and female journalists in particular are threatened. Read what the Netherlands is doing to promote freedom of speech, internet freedom and independent journalism worldwide.
Open debate on March 30
What can governments do to prevent media and journalists from being obstructed in their work? What legal and other measures can they take to protect journalists and give them the physical and mental space to do their work independently and freely? How can governments work better with civil society to ensure independent and diverse media? And how do we ensure an international climate in which countries hold each other accountable for media freedom?
On March 30, the Netherlands wants to openly and honestly discuss these questions with government representatives, civil society organizations, young people, academics and journalists during a hybrid event for the European region. With the aim: to promote media freedom so that journalists can do their work for the benefit of a thriving and free democratic society
Key themes Summit for Democracy
Media freedom and democracy
Freedom of expression is a prerequisite for a functioning democracy. Media play a vital role: using platforms and resources to move ideas forward and stimulate social debate so that people can form their own opinions. 85 percent of the world's population experiences a decline in press freedom in their country. Media freedom is also under pressure in Europe, according to the Safety of Journalists Platform's most recent annual report, "War in Europe and the Fight for the Right to Report.
Protecting safety of journalists
Journalists are at risk during their work and even murdered for speaking out against those in power. Between 2016 and 2021, 455 journalists worldwide lost their lives - and that does not include journalists killed during the war in Ukraine. However, crimes against journalists remain unpunished in 9 out of 10 cases. The fight against impunity continues, even if crimes took place 40 years ago, such as the murder of IKON journalists in El Salvador. What else needs to be done to improve the digital, physical and psychosocial security of journalists? Several projects provide safe havens for threatened journalists, such as Shelter Cities. For example, Peruvian photojournalist Atoq caught his breath in Shelter City The Hague.
Freedom of expression online
With the advent of social media, anyone can create their own platform and address an audience. But what if fake news is spread that way? And how do you take action against threatening female journalists online? Laws and regulations to protect freedom of expression online should improve to combat hate speech, online threats and the spread of disinformation. In addition, journalistic fundamentals should be given greater consideration on digital platforms so that dialogues are conducted with ethics and integrity.
Strengthening free, diverse and independent media
Due to the corona crisis and the arrival of all kinds of online platforms, advertising revenues of traditional media declined and cutbacks took place in newsrooms. Independent journalism is under pressure as a result. The financial viability of media is of public interest. How can we increase the resilience of media outlets? In addition, there should be more attention to basic journalistic principles on digital platforms so that dialogues take place with ethics and integrity.
Strengthening free, diverse and independent media
Due to the corona crisis and the arrival of all kinds of online platforms, advertising revenues of traditional media declined and cutbacks took place in newsrooms. Independent journalism is under pressure as a result. The financial viability of media is of public interest. How can we increase the resilience of media outlets? In addition, it is important that all populations be seen and heard. Diversity and gender equality is needed not only during media production but also in content.