The two-day virtual summit will be held on March 29 and 30 and is expected to bring together some 120 global leaders invited by Biden.
“It is meaningful that South Korea is taking the lead in tackling the global issue of a retreat in democracy through the co-hosting the second Summit for Democracy,” National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han told reporters in Seoul.
Kim added that the summit with be an opportunity to “demonstrate domestically and internationally how President Yoon is concretely implementing his vision of freedom and solidarity, thereby enhancing Korea’s political credibility.”
Earlier this month, the presidential office confirmed Biden formally requested Yoon to chair one of five plenary sessions of the virtual summit.
South Korea is among five co-hosting countries alongside Costa Rica, the Netherlands and Zambia.
On Wednesday, Yoon will chair the first leader-level plenary entitled, “Democracy Delivering Economic Growth and Shared Prosperity.”
Yoon will “share the know-how of Korea that has grown,” said Kim, overcoming war and poverty, and the summit is expected to serve as an opportunity to “enhance Korea’s international leadership and prestige.”
On the second day, Korea will also host an Indo-Pacific regional session under the theme of “Challenges and Progress in Addressing Corruption.”
The event will bring together leaders and ministers in the Indo-Pacific region and discuss their proposals and commitments for promoting democracy and addressing corruption.
“We will have an opportunity to elevate our international leadership and national status by demonstrating our commitment to practicing norms and values on the international stage,” said Kim.
The Summit for Democracy was inaugurated by the United States in December 2021, in keeping with Biden’s campaign pledge to bring together the United States and like-minded allies to show the world that democracy is a better alternative to autocracy.
Like in 2021, China and Russia will not take part in Biden’s summit next week.
Taiwan is expected to be among the summit’s participants this year.
The summit “does not exclude any specific country, and it is even less about a confrontation between blocs,” said a senior official in the presidential office Thursday.
Yoon plans to “emphasize that the principle of liberal democracy is the source of Korea’s growth and can enhance the country’s competitiveness by awakening the creativity of individual citizens,” added the official.
The United States launched the summit in 2021 “to put new and high level focus on the need to strengthen democratic institutions, protect human rights and accelerate the fight against corruption, both at home and abroad,” said Robert Berschinski, senior director for democracy and human rights at the U.S. National Security Council, in a press briefing Wednesday.
“As President Biden has said, we are currently at an inflection point when it comes to the future of democracy.”
The summit comes ahead of Yoon’s state visit to the United States upon the invitation of Biden scheduled for next month to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korea-U.S. alliance.
BY SARAH KIM [email@example.com]