As we observe this year’s International Day of Democracy, the world seems more turbulent than ever. In many regions and in many ways, the values of the United Nations, including some of the most fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the UN Charter, are being tested and challenged.
Recent outbreaks of violence reinforce a truth we have seen time and again: that where societies are not inclusive, and where governments are not responsive and accountable, peace, equality and shared prosperity cannot take hold. We need to do more to empower individuals, focusing on the billions of people who are underprivileged, marginalized, jobless, hopeless and understandably frustrated. We need to ensure they are heard and can take an active part in their future.
That is why my message today goes out to those who will be at the forefront of the world beyond 2015, and who by nature are at a turning point in their own lives: young people. One person out of five today is between the ages of 15 and 24. Never before has the transition from youth to adulthood been so weighed by challenges, yet so blessed by opportunities. You have powers to network that would have been unimaginable when the United Nations was founded nearly 70 years ago. You are connecting about issues that matter. Injustice. Discrimination. Human rights abuses. The discourse of hate. The need for human solidarity.
I call on members of the largest generation of youth in history to confront challenges and consider what you can do to resolve them. To take control of your destiny and translate your dreams into a better future for all. To contribute to building stronger and better democratic societies. To work together, to use your creative thinking, to become architects of a future that leaves no one behind. To help set our world on course for a better future.
On this International Day of Democracy, I call on young people everywhere to lead a major push for inclusive democracy around the world.
Organised by the United Nations Working Group on Democracy, the International Peace Institute, the Community of Democracies, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and International IDEA (Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance).
- Do young people find politics irrelevant and dull?
- Have young people discovered more powerful tools for democratic change than any generation before them?
People between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five constitute one-fifth of the world’s population, and in many developing countries the proportion is even higher. However, numerous studies show decreasing levels of youth participating in elections, political parties, and traditional social organizations. At the same time, informal, youth-led movements for democratic change are on the rise. Using new communication tools, young people are making their mark on democracy-building in untraditional ways.
The United Nations, several other international organizations, and a range of civil society groups have set out to facilitate and support the participation of young people in democracy worldwide.
- But what is the reality on the ground? How do young people engage in politics and policymaking?
- How can they contribute to creating more inclusive and participatory democracies?
- What challenges are they encountering?
- How do they perceive the role of the international community in strengthening young people’s engagement with democracy?
- How do they view the changes brought about by young people in the Arab Spring and elsewhere, and what are the lessons learned?
Venue: Trygve Lie Center for Peace, Security & Development; International Peace Institute; 777 United Nations Plaza, 12th Floor
When : Monday, September 15, 2014
Hours : 1:00pm – 2:45pm
Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations
Warren Hoge, Senior Adviser for External Relations at the International Peace Institute
- Hafsa Afailal, Programme Officer, Médiateur pour la Démocratie et les Droits de l'Homme, Rabat, Morocco
- Gustavo Arturo Martínez Rodríguez, Youth Volunteer, Coordinadora Intersectorial Pro Juventudes de El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
- Farkhunda Zahra Naderi, Member of Afghanistan Parliament, Lower House, Kabul, Afghanistan
For more information, please visit the International Peace Institute. Register here.
You can follow the live webcast.
Forum : Join the forum of discussion about the International Day of Democracy- 15 September
Resources : Publications
|Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education - Council for a community of Democracies|
This Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education is the culmination of more than a decade during which the Council for a Community of Democracies (CCD) has made democracy education a priority for the Community of Democracies (CD) and the democracy community at large.
Whether in South Africa, Chile, Poland, Korea, or Tunisia, the struggle to establish democracy has been a noble and heroic one, fraught with great sacrifice. We have come to realize that the great democratic
transformations that have swept the globe, if they are to endure and fulfill the aspirations of a people, require more than the ouster of a dictator and more even than free and fair elections. If democracy is truly to take root, an extensive institutional framework and, perhaps more importantly, the active participation of a population are needed if a government of the people — democracy — is to survive and thrive. That participation can only be generated if the people of the new democracy are educated, informed, and encouraged to exercise their rights. Our premise is that education for democracy is the glue that sustains and holds a democratic system together.
|Funding of Political Parties and Election Campaigns - A Handbook on Political Finance. (IDEA)|