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    International Day of Democracy: History, significance and theme

    International Day of Democracy: History, significance and theme

    International Day of Democracy: History, significance and theme
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    International Day of Democracy was established after a resolution was passed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2007, encouraging governments to strengthen and consolidate democracy.

    International Day of Democracy is celebrated on September 15 every year to uphold and honour the values of democracy which is one of the most popular forms of government in the world.
    The day was established after a resolution was passed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2007, encouraging governments to strengthen and consolidate democracy.
    According to the United Nations, the day “provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world” and make the ideal of democracy “into a reality to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.”
    Since it was first observed in 2008, a number of parliamentary events have been held worldwide, including photo competitions, workshops for children and televised debates on this day.
    History
    The idea behind celebrating the day is based on the Universal Declaration on Democracy, adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union on September 15, 1997. The union is an international organisation of national parliaments. However, the actual seed of celebrating the day was sown in 1988 when President Corazon C Aquino of the Philippines started the International Conferences on the New and Restored Democracies (ICNRD). At the sixth edition of ICNRD in Qatar in 2006, a declaration to re-establish the basic principles of democracy was decided. Qatar then led the efforts in promoting a resolution for the International Day of Democracy at the UN.
    The resolution was passed the following year at the UN General Assembly. In November 2007, the UN also decided to support new and restored democracies all around the globe.
    The Inter-Parliamentary Union decided to observe the day on September 15 to commemorate the adoption of Universal Declaration on Democracy.
    Significance
    The primary objective of celebrating Democracy Day is to uphold the principles of democracy. The day also reminds governments of the value of a democratic system and the Parliament.
    Theme
    Every year, events are organised based on an individual theme. This year the theme for Democracy Day is “Protecting press freedom for democracy”. The theme will focus on the importance of media freedom in a democratic country to maintain peace and deliver on sustainable development goals.
    Speaking on the theme, UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a video message said, “Media workers face censorship, detention, physical violence, and even killings — often with impunity. Such dark paths inevitably lead to instability, injustice and worse. Without a free press, democracy cannot survive. Without freedom of expression, there is no freedom.”
    He asked everyone to join forces to secure freedom and protect the rights of all people, everywhere.
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