International Day of Democracy 2021: Theme, History & Significance of September 15

International Day of Democracy is observed by the United Nations across the world every year on September 15. Know this years theme, the history of the day, its significance and more about democracy in the article below.
Created On: Sep 15, 2021 10:37 IST
Modified On: Sep 15, 2021 11:22 IST
International Day of Democracy
International Day of Democracy

International Day of Democracy is observed by the United Nations on September 15 every year to honour this form of government and its achievements. Democracy is by far the most popular form of government in the world. It is a form in which the citizens of a place get to decide for themselves either through their elected representatives or directly. Therefore in this form the citizens have the authority on the matters of legislation.  

Take a look at the significance of this day, the history of democracy and the theme observed by the United Nations this year. 

International Day of Democracy 2021: What UN says this year- Theme and motto

United Nations this year is promoting three essential elements of democracy which are:

  • Freedom
  • Human Rights 
  • Free and fair elections

This year the hashtag that is being promoted by UN is Stand Up For Human Rights or #StandUp4HumanRights. 

The theme of this day is different every year. Last year the United Nations decided to focus on COVID19 and the governments across the globe dealing with it. It was called “Covid-19: A Spotlight on Democracy.” In 2019, the event took place under the theme “Participation”. The theme for 1018 was “Democracy under strain: Solutions for a changing world.”

The United Nations insists that freedom, respect for human rights and the principles for holding periodic and genuine elections by universal suffrage are the major elements of any democracy. These provide the realisation of human rights as well. It further states that these values are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and were developed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The link between human rights and democracy is written in Article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Take a look at the tweet shared by the United Nations below. 

International Day of Democracy: History

The International Day of Democracy has been observed on September 15 every year since 2007. Although, this day is largely based on the Universal Declaration of Democracy adopted on September 15, 1997 by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) which is an international organization of national parliaments of the world. 

Some people also range the day to 1988 when the President of the Philippines, Corazon C. Aquino initiated International Conferences on the New and Restored Democracies. In 2006, Qatar hosted the ICNRD-6 and thereafter promoted the resolution for the International Day of Democracy in the UN General Assembly. 

In 2007, UNGA decided to observe September 15 as the International Day of DEmocracy and passed a resolution supporting new and restored democracies of the world. 

International Day of Democracy: Significance

The International Day of Democracy marks the importance of Democracy in the world. After all it is the form of government that provides maximum ease and the feeling of self worth to the citizens. India being the largest democracy in the world conducting elections on a massive scale every five years is the best example of exercising human rights and universal suffrage. 

Democracy allows people to make their own legislation, decide their rights and duties and work together in national interests. This is the best government form for nation building. 

Also, the International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy across the globe.

As per United Nations, " 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 observation of this day asserts the same and reverberates it around the year.

Take a look at the tweets shared by world democracies here:

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