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.
The International Day of Democracy on 15 September was established by the United Nations in 2007 as an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. In particular, the day celebrates the values of freedom, respect for human rights and the principle of holding genuine elections by universal suffrage. It aims to encourage Governments to strengthen national programs devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy.
The theme for 2014 International Democracy Day is “Engaging Young People on Democracy”. This year’s theme – Engaging Young People on Democracy – highlights the challenges and opportunities of young people engaging in democratic processes.
Parliaments around the world participate in the celebrations. The date chosen for the International Day of Democracy corresponds to the adoption in September 1997 by the Inter-Parliamentary Union of a Universal Declaration on Democracy. That Declaration affirms the principles of democracy, the elements and exercise of democratic government, and the global scope of democracy.
Using new communication channels in social networks, young people are making their mark on democracy-building in nontraditional ways. The Inter-Parliamentary Union is promoting the International Day of Democracy through its Member Parliaments in 162 countries around the world.