International Day of Democracy is celebrated throughout the world on 15th September each year. It was established through a resolution passed by the UN General Assembly in 2007, encouraging governments to strengthen and consolidate democracy.
The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review democracy in the world. Democracy is as much a process as a goal, and only with the full participation of and support by the international community, national governing bodies, civil society and individuals, can the ideal of democracy be made into a reality to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.
The UN worked hard to achieve its goals of peace, human rights and development. It believes that human rights and the rule of law are best protected in the societies which are democratic. The UN also recognizes a fundamental truth about democracy everywhere – that democracy is the product of a strong, active and vocal civil society.
What Do People Do on International Day of Democracy?
People and organizations around the world, hold various initiatives to promote democracy on the International Day of Democracy.
Many events and activities took place which include discussions, conferences and press conferences involving keynote speakers, often those who are leaders or educators heavily involved in supporting and endorsing democratic governments and communities.
There has been a campaign, known as the Global Democracy Day Initiative, which involves a petition being made to the UN and heads of states to officially adopt October 18 as Global Democracy Day to support International Day of Democracy.
International Day of Democracy 2019 Theme: Participation
This year in 2019 International Day of Democracy is an opportunity to recall that democracy is about people. Democracy is built on inclusion, equal treatment and participation — and it is a fundamental building block for peace, sustainable, development and human rights. Democracy, in turn, provides the natural environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights.
Democracy is a two-way street, built on a constant dialogue between civil society and the political class. This dialogue must have real influence on political decisions. This is why political participation, civic space and social dialogue make up the very foundations of good governance.
It is even very true with the impact of globalization and technological progress. And yet today, civic space is shrinking worldwide at an alarming rate. Civil society activists are finding it increasingly difficult to operate. Human rights defenders and parliamentarians are under attack. Women remain vastly under-represented. Journalists face interference, and in some cases violence.
This International Day of Democracy, is an opportunity to urge all governments to respect their citizens’ right to active, substantive and meaningful participation in democracy.