International Day of Democracy has been observed annually on September 15. The international celebration is made to promote and raise the public awareness about democracy. The commemoration of the day also operates in a way to promote and upholds the principles of democracy. The celebration of International Day of Democracy is an opportunity for the people to review the state of democracy in the world. Celebrating this day is valid as people must be under the democratic rule to enjoy their freedom.
“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
History of International Day of Democracy
The International Day of Democracy was first observed in the year 2008. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in the year 2007. The observance of the day marks the purpose of promoting and upholding the democratic principles. It also invites all the member states and the organizations to celebrate this day in an appropriate way such that it contributes to increasing the public awareness. Globally there are many people and organizations, including government and non-government organizations, carry out various initiatives in promoting democracy on this day. The International Day of Democracy ensures if the people are getting the human rights, precisely the right to political and civil freedom. Also, the observance of the day ensures equal participation of all the members of society.
Democracy is a form of government in which all the eligible citizens will participate equally either directly or indirectly through elected representatives in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It incorporates social, economic and cultural systems. Democracy has come from two Greek words demos, meaning the people and kratein meaning to rule. Democratic power is either held by one person, as a form of monarchy or where power is held by a small group of people, as in an oligarchy. The essential elements of democracy include values of freedom, respect for human rights and conducting periodic and genuine elections by the universal ballot system. There is a theme for every year celebration. It is as follows.
- 2013: Strengthening Voices for Democracy
- 2014: Engaging youth on democracy
- 2015: Space for Civil Society
- 2016: Democracy and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development
- 2017: Democracy and Conflict prevention
- 2018: Democracy under Strain: Solutions for a Changing World
- 2019: Participation
Facts About International Day of Democracy
- While democracies share common features, there is no single model of democracy.
- The word Democracy was nowhere mentioned in the UN Charter of 1945. The United Nation has played a pivoted role in sustaining Democratic values, principles, and practices.
- The United Nation strives to achieve its goals of peace, human rights, and development through democracy. It also believes that human rights and the rule of law are best protected in the democratic societies.
- Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Burma, and the Vatican City are the four countries in the world that do not claim to be democratic.
- The United Nation also recognizes a fundamental truth about democracy everywhere. It believes that democracy is the product of a powerful, active and vocal civil society.
- The Democratic form of government will conduct free and fair elections where all the citizens are allowed to vote how they want.
- The oldest accepted democracy in the modern world is the United States of America. It had adopted its Constitution pledging an elected government and civil rights to some American citizens in 1787.
Other Celebrations on September 15
September 15 is also celebrated as
- National Felt Hat Day
- National Greenpeace Day
- National Make a Hat Day
- International Dot Day
- Software Freedom Day
How to Celebrate International Day of Democracy
Celebrating the International Day of Democracy is very simple. Learn more about democracy and educate people about their role in the democratic form of government. The study will also let you know where are in terms of democracy. Post and share your International Day of Democracy celebrations on the social media using the hashtag #InternationalDayofDemocracy.