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Why is September 15 Observed as International Day of Democracy? History and Significance

By: Lifestyle Desk

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Last Updated: September 15, 2022, 07:15 IST

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According to UNESCO, the International Day of Democracy serves as an opportunity to assess the state of democracies in the world. (Representative image: Shutterstock)

According to UNESCO, the International Day of Democracy serves as an opportunity to assess the state of democracies in the world. (Representative image: Shutterstock)

The theme for International Day of Democracy 2022 is “importance of media freedom to democracy, peace, and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals”

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DEMOCRACY 2022: This year, September 15 marks the 15th anniversary of the International Day of Democracy. The day is celebrated annually around the world to strengthen democracies and highlight its values and principles. Democracy is a form of government that functions with the equal participation of all citizens of a country.

International Day of Democracy: History

The International Day of Democracy was established after a resolution was passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the resolution was geared towards strengthening and consolidating democracy. The International Day of Democracy was first celebrated in 2008 and since then, numerous parliamentary events have been organised worldwide.

International Day of Democracy: Theme 2022

A theme is chosen for the International Day of Democracy. This year, the day is focused on the “importance of media freedom to democracy, peace, and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Why the date?

The idea of celebrating the International Day of Democracy stems from the Universal Declaration on Democracy. It was adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Council in its 161th session on September 16, 1997.

What is Ddemocracy?

According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the key elements of democracy include holding free and fair elections at regular intervals and enabling people to express themselves. The elections in a democracy must be based on universal, equal, and secret suffrage to ensure that all citizens choose their representatives in conditions of openness, equality, and transparency that stimulate political competition.

In a democracy, political and civil rights along with the right to vote and the right to be elected are essential. Other features of democracy include the right to freedom of expression and assembly, the right to organise political parties, access to information, and the right to carry out political activities.

Public accountability must be ensured in a democracy. It applies to everyone who holds a public authority, both elected and non-elected, and to all public bodies without exception. The participation of individuals in democratic processes and public life must be done in an impartial manner without any discrimination.

Significance of the day

According to UNESCO, the International Day of Democracy serves as an opportunity to assess the state of democracies in the world. It also gives a chance to highlight the crucial role of parliaments and to celebrate their capability to deliver justice, development, human rights, and peace.

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first published:September 15, 2022, 07:15 IST
last updated:September 15, 2022, 07:15 IST