15 September marks the International Day of Democracy, it is both meant as a celebration of democracy and as a reminder that the need to promote and protect democracy is as urgent now as ever.
This year's International Day of Democracy coincides with the observance at UN Headquarters of the International Day of Peace, under the theme of "Peace and Democracy: Make Your Voice heard". (Event during the day are broadcast live on the UN Webcast at www.un.org/webcast.)
Democracy is a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives.
The United Nations General Assembly in 2007 declared that the 15 September should be celebrated as the International Day of Democracy, stressing the continuing need to promote democratization, development and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Parliaments around the world participate in the celebrations. The date chosen for the International Day of Democracy corresponds to the adoption in September 1997 by the Inter-Parliamentary Union of a Universal Declaration on Democracy. That Declaration affirms the principles of democracy, the elements and exercise of democratic government, and the global scope of democracy.
"On this International Day of Democracy, let us redouble our efforts to support all people, in particular the young – the drivers of this year’s momentous events – in making democracy a working reality. This Day belongs to them. Let us honour their commitment to a lifelong journey in democracy."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Message for the International Day of Democracy 2011.
An information kit highlighting all aspects of the UN's work in the area of democracy is available in English, French and Spanish at http://www.un.org/en/events/democracyday/pdf/presskit.pdf
SG Statement and Website
Language versions of the statement from the Secretary-General. In addition to the website for the Day at http://www.un.org/en/events/democracyday, further information can be found at http://www.un.org/en/globalissues/democracy.
From the UN News Centre:
* Events in North Africa and Middle East prove democracy a universal yearning – Ban
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