International Day of Democracy 2023: Every year, on September 15th, the world comes together to celebrate the International Day of Democracy. This significant day is dedicated to reflecting on the state of democracy worldwide and to promote and uphold the principles that underpin democratic societies. Democracy is not just a destination; it is an ongoing process that demands active participation from individuals, national governments, the international community, and civil society. It is a collective effort that transforms the ideal of democracy into a living reality, benefiting everyone, everywhere.
Event: International Day of Democracy 2023
Date: September 15, 2023
Declared by: United Nations
Purpose: To uphold and promote the principles of democracy.
Democracy rests on fundamental values, including freedom, respect for human rights, and the regular conduct of genuine elections. Democracy serves as a vital guardian of human rights, particularly in republics. Recognizing the significance of these values, the United Nations, during its General Assembly in 2007, designated September 15th as the International Day of Democracy.
The observance of this day is marked with great enthusiasm, as the UN encourages all member states and organizations to commemorate it in a way that raises public awareness about democracy's importance
Democracy is a core value and principle of the United Nations and is universally recognized as an ideal. It is through democracy that an environment conducive to the realization and enjoyment of human rights is established. The UN actively promotes good governance, monitors elections, supports civil society, ensures self-determination in decolonized countries, and assists in crafting new constitutions in post-conflict nations, all with the aim of strengthening democratic institutions.
The initiative to establish the International Day of Democracy was championed by Qatar. In November 2007, the United Nations General Assembly passed the resolution titled "Support by United Nations system of efforts of governments to promote and consolidate a new or restored democracy." This resolution encouraged governments worldwide to enhance and consolidate democracy. The first International Day of Democracy was celebrated on September 15, 2008, with numerous parliamentary events held across the globe.
Governments around the world mark the International Day of Democracy with special events and functions. These activities range from photo competitions and children's workshops to live televised debates, radio phone-ins, and meetings with civil society organizations. Individuals are encouraged to participate in these events to celebrate democracy and its global significance fully.
Other ways to commemorate this day include gaining a deeper understanding of democracy and human rights, becoming informed about local elections and candidates, and actively participating in the democratic process. Educating others about democracy and their rights as citizens helps create an informed society that can truly appreciate democracy and its global celebration.
While the theme for 2023 is yet to be announced, previous years have seen thought-provoking themes that highlight democracy's different facets:
2022: "The importance of media freedom to democracy, peace, and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals"
2021: "Strengthening democratic resilience in the face of future crises"
2020: "Democracy Day Amidst the Pandemic"
2019: "Inclusion and Participation: Foundation of Democracy"
2018: "Athens Democracy Forum"
2017: "In Defence of Democracy"
2016: "Democracy and Sustainable Development: the 2030 Agenda"
2015: "Space for Civil Society"
2014: "Engaging Young People in Democracy"
2013: "Strengthening Voices for Democracy"
2012: "Democracy Education"
2011: "Peace and Democracy: Make Your Voice Heard"
2010: "Democracy and Millennium Development Goals"
2009: "Democracy and Political Tolerance"
Each of these themes serves as a reminder of the multifaceted nature of democracy and its importance in our rapidly changing world. While we anticipate the theme for 2023, it is essential to recognize that democracy continues to evolve and adapt to meet the challenges of our time, and its celebration on September 15th is a testament to its enduring relevance and significance.