We have to make clear that governments exist to serve the interest of citizens, and not the other way around. And so this is why, as President of the United States, I’ve pursued initiatives like the Open Government Partnership that promotes transparency and accountability so that ordinary people know more about the decisions that affect their lives. That’s why both at home and around the world, we have taken steps to fight corruption that can rot a society from within.

As authoritarian governments work to close space that citizens depend upon to organize and have their voices heard, we’ve begun the work of empowering civil society to defend democratic values and promote solutions to the problems within our communities. And as so many people around the world sometimes are tempted by cynicism and not being involved because they think that politicians and government don’t care about them, we’ve created networks for young leaders and invested in young entrepreneurs, because we believe that the hope and renewal of our societies begins with the voices of youth. (Applause.)