The Biden administration on November has published a list of 110 countries invited to the virtual Summit for Democracy that will be hosted by President Biden for leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector on December 9-10, 2021.

According to the list posted on the U.S. State Department website on Tuesday (23 November), among the republic of the former Soviet Union, only Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were invited.

Belarus, Azerbaijan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are not on the list.

China and Turkey were not invited either.

Among the countries of the Middle East, only Israel and Iraq will take place in the online conference,

Iraq, India and Pakistan are invited, while traditional Arab allies of the US — Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, are not.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace notes that the current mix of invitees includes liberal democracies, weaker democracies, and several states with authoritarian characteristics (such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Pakistan).  Rather than limit participation to a core group of committed democracies, Biden’s team reportedly opted for a big tent approach.

The majority of invitees—seventy-seven countries—rank as “free” or fully democratic, according to Freedom House’s 2021 report.  Another thirty-one invitees rank as “partly free.”  Finally, three countries fall into the “not free” camp.

When it comes to regional representation, Europe leads the world with thirty-nine invitees, followed closely by twenty-seven participating countries from the Western Hemisphere.  The Asia Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa also enjoy robust participation with twenty-one and seventeen invitees, respectively. In contrast, the Biden administration extended invites to fewer countries in the Middle East and North Africa and South and Central Asia. In the Middle East, only Iraq and Israel received invitations, while South and Central Asia obtained just four invites (for India, the Maldives, Nepal, and Pakistan).

The summit will focus on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and will provide a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad, the U.S. Department of State said.

The U.S. State Department notes that for the United States, the summit will offer an opportunity to listen, learn, and engage with a diverse range of actors whose support and commitment is critical for global democratic renewal. It will also showcase one of democracy’s unique strengths: the ability to acknowledge its imperfections and confront them openly and transparently, so that we may, as the United States Constitution puts it, “form a more perfect union.”