Live Session: Democratic leadership in times of uncertainty

Final report of the Global Democracy Coalition

This Live Session was held in the framework of the Global Democracy Coalition Forum, a gathering of 47 organisations led by International IDEA to invigorate conversations around democracy ahead of the US-led Summit for Democracy. Below are the recommendations from all webinars and organisations.

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Live Session: Democratic leadership in times of uncertainty

Over the last decades, we have observed disquieting democratic backsliding across all regions worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this situation and triggered a cycle of democratic decline and deterioration as recently seen in Nicaragua, Belarus or Myanmar. This cycle often starts with an attack on democracy in the form of a crisis or emergency that national governments and their leaders are not prepared to address. This lack of effective response recurrently leads to more polarised societies and citizens’ distrust, which in consequence facilitates the rise of authoritarian regimes and populist movements.

With the growing lack of trust in institutions, increasing inequality, and persistent patterns of social exclusion, it is fundamental that democratic leaders come together to protect, nurture and promote democratic values and practices. As times rapidly change, the idea of responsible political leadership must adapt to new and old global challenges alike. Leaders must go beyond providing for the citizens of their countries and contribute to establishing a fair and inclusive, rules-based global order able to guarantee international peace and global stability for generations to come. In this session, our panel will advocate for leadership that fosters democratic resilience based on three main pillars: decision-making in the face of uncertainty, building bridges to prevent polarisation and, removing the seeds of authoritarianism from our democracies. 

During the session, speakers will share recommendations extracted from Club de Madrid’s Policy Dialogue 2021: Rethinking Democracy and Global Commission on Democracy and Emergencies.

This Live Session is Club de Madrid’s contribution to the Global Democracy Coalition Forum. This global multi-stakeholder coalition of pro-democracy organisations seeks to galvanize a global conversation on democracy, as inputs to the Summit for Democracy which will be held on 9 and 10 December 2021.

Join our Live Session to hear ideas on how leaders can counter the current democratic backsliding by rethinking democracy and how such systems can be resilient to crises
7 December at 17.00 – 18.30 CET (virtual session



●      Danilo Türk, President of Slovenia (2007-2012) and Club de Madrid President

●      Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Leader of Belarusian Democratic Movement

●      Wai Hnin Pwint Tho, Burmese human rights activist

●      Berta Valle, Nicaraguan human rights activist