Democracy and respect for human rights have long been central components of U.S. foreign policy. As the world grows more interconnected, more individuals are gaining awareness of the rights guaranteed to them by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other global and regional commitments – and have the capacity to pursue them. Democracies that respect the rights of their people remain successful states and America’s most steadfast allies. But democracy means much more than holding elections; it is the practice of free and fair electoral processes that put into place representative, accountable and transparent institutions of government operating under the rule of law and in conjunction with a vibrant civil society, including NGOs and a free media. The United States uses a wide range of tools to advance a freedom agenda, including bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, foreign assistance, reporting and public outreach, and economic sanctions. The United States is committed to working with democratic partners, international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, and engaged citizens to support those seeking freedom.