SEATTLE — The changing dynamics of global politics are bringing forward new supporters of foreign affairs. Most notable is Representative Ed Royce (R-CA-39). He is currently serving his 11th term in Congress representing California’s 39th district.
Previously, Royce was chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade and was also a member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. However, Royce’s current position as the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and its weekly public hearings on popular global issues have landed him in the spotlight.
Rep. Royce a Passionate Advocate for Global Democracy
Recently, Royce remarked on the importance of promoting global democracy in a changing and dynamic world. Royce reminded U.S. citizens that the country’s longstanding democratic legacy should pave the way for global democracy and that the U.S. should be acting as both a leader and catalyst to help people living in countries with restrictive governments.
“‘Democracy’ is more than just elections. Democracy without the foundation of rule of law, individual liberties, a free press and a culture of tolerance is dangerous populism or mob rule. We’ve seen that in Burma, South Sudan, Gaza and too many other places,” Royce said at a committee hearing regarding the importance of U.S. aid in globalization.
When not promoting democracy, Royce has called attention to the need for the international media to report on government misdeeds and human rights violations worldwide. By exposing repressive governments, countries like China have seen some newfound liberty and tolerance.
Progress Towards Global Democracy
Though democracy statistics look grim on the surface, congressional support from advocates like Royce has helped grow global democracy. According to Freedom House’s annual survey, in 2017, 71 countries suffered declines in political rights and civil liberties, while 62 countries have seen a net increase in civil liberties since 2006.
Despite the slow progress in instituting open democracies, support for global democracy is growing, and Rep. Royce uses this support as a means to spread awareness. In a poll of 38 countries conducted by Pew Research Center, 78 percent of people said that representative democracy is a good thing.
Maintaining national balance and equality while promoting international peace is a specialty of Royce’s. One of the many goals of the Foreign Affairs Committee is to create legislation that benefits the diplomatic community. The committee cooperates with the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Peace Corps and the United Nations to develop methods of promoting global democracy and other important changes for those living in poverty.
Royce has also played a key role in the African Growth and Opportunity Act as well as the Electrify Africa Act, which promoted and developed affordable and reliable energy for sub-Saharan African countries. He plans to continue his legislative work related to economic and political programs that help lift people out of poverty.
– Logan Moore