International Day of Democracy: Theme, significance and why it is celebrated

In today’s era, it has become imperative to recall the salient aspects of democracy. International Day of Democracy is observed on September 15 to remind people that democracy shall give us the rule, which shall be of the people, by the people and for the people. This day marks the significance of the importance of democracy and the realization about Human Rights.

This year the theme of the International Day of Democracy 2019 is ‘Participation’. According to the United Nations, democracy is built on inclusion, equal treatment, and participation. It is a basic building block for peace, sustainable development, and human rights.

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Political participation is the yardstick for the largest democracy. Hence, India being the largest democracy shows us that civic society wants to participate in the spirit of democracy and only enhance the concept.

The Economic intelligence Index 2019 released the democratic index which ranks 167 countries by 60 indicators across five broad categories. The findings showed that only 4.5% of the world’s people live in a full democracy. It also indicated that political participation was the most improved category in the index.

According to the Democracy Index, which is compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit of the United Kingdom, there are just a handful of nations that are full democracies like Australia, Norway, UK and Costa Rica.

To keep the democratic space free and open for all, UN believes that human rights and the rule of law must always be protected in democratic societies. UN’s area of focus is on the goals of peace, human rights, and development. No matter how many loopholes exist in a Democracy, it provides a strong and empowering voice to the civil society.

On 8 November 2007, the UN General Assembly decided to observe September 15 to observe the International Day of Democracy annually. On this day the assembly incites people and organizations from government and non-government, to commemorate the International Day of Democracy.

The most pertinent feature of the International Day of Democracy is that urges people and the governments to respect the rights of the citizens and provide substantial participation in democracy. Even the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to address democracy in Sustainable Development Goal 16 and acknowledge the links of individuals between peaceful societies, effective and inclusive institutions.

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This day is celebrated by civic society and organizations that work together to raise awareness about the spirit of democracy. It is the need of the hour for people to understand that democracy and human rights are closely linked. Democracy empowers people to vote, elect a government of choice and most importantly allows a filter of the government.

Thus, it is important to celebrate democracies worldwide and educate the public on the attributes of successful democracies.

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