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Between ‘a’ Vision and ‘the’ Vision Lies Division

US President Joe Biden speaks to representatives of more than 100 countries during a virtual democracy summit at the White House in Washington DC on December 9, 2021. Nicholas Kamm / AFP

Everyone is cramming in a last flurry of calls and briefings and ‘quickly touching base on’ before the end of the year. It made my week so jam-packed that I can literally not recall what I said to whom. One through-line, however, has been values. This is of course the week of the Biden administration’s Summit for Democracy, coming as everyone is still chewing over last week’s FOCAC summit and the simultaneous launch of the EU’s Global Gateway infrastructure initiative.

Both the Global Gateway and its American cousin Build Back Better World are described as values-led. This same dedication to shared values marked the Summit for Democracy. In the words of U.S. President Biden: “[W]ill we together — together — have a vision and the vision — not just “a” vision, “the” vision — and courage to once more lead the march of human progress and human freedom forward?”

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