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 theme for this year's International Day of Democracy (15 September) is democracy education, the process of ensuring that all peoples of the world fully understand their rights and responsibilities in decision-making.
The subject of this year's theme is essential for the long-term success of democracy, especially in countries that have recently transitioned to more democratic societies. Questions such as, “Why should I vote?”, “How can I influence my leaders?” “What can I reasonably expect from my elected officials?” or “What are my constitutional rights?” need to be addressed through civic institutions, in the free press and in classrooms. It is only with educated citizens that a sustainable culture of democracy can emerge.
At UN Headquarters, on Monday 17 September, will feature speakers from the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF), the Community of Democracies, the Organization of American States, the UN Institute for Training and Research, UNESCO and the Permanent Representatives of Mongolia and Poland. The event, on democracy education, will be webcast live at 7 p.m. CET.
The event coincides with the launch of a new UNDEF-funded project to put democracy education into wider practice.
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, Block C2,7th and 8th floor, Brussels 1040, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 788 8484 / Fax: 32 2 788 8485