July 2018

By Karen A. Tramontano


This June, I had the opportunity to participate in the Copenhagen Democracy Summit, convened in Copenhagen, Denmark—on one of the world’s oldest democracies—by former Prime Minister of Denmark and Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the Alliance of Democracies Foundation.

The Summit provided an inspiring environment for discussions about many topics essential to democracy, such as fake news and free speech, co-existence of cybersecurity and democracy, the future of global trade, and nurturing democracy through economic development.

Each discussion brought a wide range of perspectives and experiences and fostered a debate not only among panel members but also with an engaged global audience. While panelists and participants in some cases agreed to disagree, all agreed on the virtue of democracy—that it must be defended and nurtured, globally.

Rasmussen opened the Summit expressing his belief that the “world’s democracies [must] work together for a more peaceful and prosperous world.” Former U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden spoke to the issues confronting democracy in an era of authoritarian revolt. Click here to watch his speech.

Closing out the day-long summit was former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who discussed the impact that globalization has had on democracies together with moderator Stephen Sackur of BBC’s HARDtalk program. Blair argued that Brexit was not only a disaster for the UK but most importantly was a decision taken against the choice of Britain’s youth.

I was honored to be a part of the discussion on nurturing democracy through economic development and to discuss the Global Fairness Initiative’s work in Tunisia and Nepal. The importance of GFI’s work in transitioning informal workers to formalized work and eliminating child labor in the brick kilns of Nepal can be found here.

In addition to hosting the Copenhagen Democracy Summit, the Alliance of Democracies Foundation also supports the Campaign for Democracy, a global intellectual movement to advocate for the cause of democracy and the Expeditionary Economics Program, a program that supports successful entrepreneurial projects in emerging democracies.

To learn more about the Alliance of Democracies Foundation and its programs please click here.