July 20, 2022
On July 19, Ms Desiree Cormier Smith, as the new lead at State Department on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and racial justice convened this civil society consultation. She and others sought to input on how the Summit for Democracy can make real progress on racial justice, building on the U.S. commitments made at the Summit last December.

She explained that at its core, she sees the initiative as honoring the dignity and value of every human being. This work is being positioned within the State Department, internally and externally, with the intersectional infusion of equity into all initiatives. She describes this as in the U.S. interest to address structural racism in our international policies and programs and the Administration sees this work as integral to stable nations and democracies.

In this discussion with civil society leaders, most participants focused on recommendations to the U.S. government on how to best bolster diplomatic efforts to advance democracy promotion globally. Numerous civil society participants addressed the mirror effect, the importance of publicly acknowledging our nation’s progress and failures with racial justice in the United States as we seek to strengthen democracy at home and abroad.

From the UNA-NCA perspective, the State Department officials were urged to draw upon the civil society shadow reports on the Racism Treaty, CERD, which the United States will report on next month. Attention was raised on the citizen action in the absence of human rights treaty ratification, such as the Cities for CEDAW initiative. A highlight of this is the District of Columbia Council actions which call for annual reporting from each city office on budgeting, programming and staffing through a gender fair, intersectional lens. Further, the UNA-NCA Global Goals at Home initiative has taken shape to focus on progress related to the Sustainable Development Goals in our region, partially due to the lack of comprehensive reporting by the United States on the SDGs. Fulfillment of the SDGs also fosters democracy.

The State Department seeks continued civil society input on the convergence of racial justice and the Summit for Democracy, suggestions can be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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