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Danish Government Launches Tech for Democracy 2021

24 Aug 2021 8:50

The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the increased international focus on the intersection of tech, democracy and human rights and launches its own intiative to overcome its challenges, Tech for Democracy 2021

Recognizing that digital technology holds great potential for strengthening democracy and citizens’ engagement, the Danish Government will host an international conference - Copenhagen: Tech for Democracy 2021 - on 18  November 2021.

Its website states: "We want to bring states, tech sector representatives, media, academia and civil society around the same table to focus on concrete ways to make technology support – and not undermine - democracy and civil society. (...) We will build on our tech diplomacy’s dialogue with the tech sector in Silicon Valley, China and globally, and our position as a highly digitalized democracy with a strong civil society engagement at home and abroad." 

The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs proposes to:

  1. Develop a Call to Action. It should bring states, tech sector and civil society together to safeguard democratic space in the digital age, and stand up for democracy defenders under digital attack. It should promote responsible digital behavior among states and the tech sector including a free and open Internet, responsible use of social media and proactive use of technology to promote virtual inclusion of citizens. From the local to the global.

  2. Deliver public-private partnerships to harness tech for democracy. Reaching out to like-minded countries, tech companies, multilateral organizations, civil society actors, and academia to identify concrete actions and mobilize support for new public-private partnerships aimed at delivering solutions to advanced technology for democracy globally.

  3. Empower civil society, media and democracy defenders. Calling for (and contribute) additional funding to ensure safety of activists under digital attack and to support the democratic use and development of technology among civil society, movements, and media organizations. 

Danish authorities explain the launch of Tech for Democracy 2021 the following way: "The COVID-19 pandemic and 20 years of democratic backsliding call for strong political support for democracy and civic freedoms in the digital age. If we, who live by and of democracy and freedom do not come together to protect these common goods, we risk losing them."