International Day of democracy observed on September 15


This article is on International Day of Democracy as declared by United Nations and observed on Fifteenth of September every year. The article refers to the UN resolution in this regard and also cites a relevant portion from the UN Secretary General's message for this year i.e. 2011.

When did International Day of Democracy begin to be observed



United Nations General Assembly, on 13 December 2007 vide its resolution numbered A/62/7 decide that September 15 every year was begun to be observed as International Day of Democracy. Hence the observance started from year 2008.


What is the purpose of the International Day of Democracy



The purpose and aim of the nee to observe an International Day o democracy was to involve all members' countries of UN, the various organisations under UN, the NGOs to conduct events in appropriate manner for increasing public awareness on democracy, elemental matters human rights. While taking up the resolution, the UN stressed the interdependence and mutually reinforcing nature of all the above.


What is democracy and why is it so important



We are all familiar with most common definition of democracy as a government,'of', 'for' and 'by' the people. Though UN says that "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," UN also reaffirms that" while democracies share common features, there is no single model of democracy and that democracy does not belong to any country.."
But generally the best form of democracy is understood to be a form of government where in the rulers are elected by the people through a universal adult suffrage based on equality of rights. In India we are having this form of democracy, wherein the rule from the bottom most panchayat to the top most National level Parliament , is conducted by the elected representatives elected by adult voters under equality of and without any discrimination of gender, caste, religion, language and geography.


is the relevance now of International Day of Democracy



Even now in the world, there are other forms of government functioning. In some of these countries the people want change to democracy from the existing system. As this is not coming of by itself, there are struggles for democracy in different parts of world. There are many new democracies or governments in transition. Even in countries with established democracies, there are some happenings and indications of pressures to restrict the freedom and human rights. There also tendencies raising head in some open democracies by vested interest to hijack or influence power. These are threats and challenges to democracy.The other day on 12 th August 2011, Ms. Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that many countries in the Middle East and North Africa are in the process of political transition or undergoing unrest. She cited countries Syria, Yemen and Libya and said that situation here are part of wider pro democracy movements which changed governments in Tunisia and Egypt. She asked the authorities in countries going through transition to observe restraint and respect human rights.

Message of UN Secretary General for the International Day of Democracy 2011
Quote .." 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. ".Unquote


Conclusion



Democracy is not the brutal rule of majority, but t respects minority voices also as necessary of democracy. There is still necessity and relevance of observing International Day of Democracy with all seriousness.


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