15 September: International Day of Democracy
The International Day of Democracy was observed across the world on September 15, 2018. The day provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world.
The theme of the 2018 International Day of Democracy was ‘Democracy under Strain: Solutions for a Changing World’.
This year’s theme looks for ways to revive democracy and seek answers to the systemic challenges it faces such as tackling economic and political inequalities, making democracies more inclusive by bringing the young and marginalsed into the political system and responsive to emerging challenges such as migration and climate change.
Day coincides with 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The International Day of Democracy 2018 coincides with this year’s 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, highlighting the values of freedom and respect for human rights as essential elements of democracy.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government” (Article 21.3). The declaration inspired constitution-making around the world and contributed to global acceptance of democratic values and principles.
Democracy, in turn, provides the natural environment for the protection and effective realisation of human rights.
When was the Day proclaimed?
• The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly through a resolution in 2007 to strengthen national programmes devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy.
• It was observed for the first time in 2008.
• Though the word ‘Democracy’ is nowhere is mentioned in the UN Charter of 1945, the UN has played a pivotal role in nurturing Democratic values, practices and institutions.
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