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International Day of Democracy

September 15, 2022

The International Day of Democracy is celebrated annually on 15 September and it provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. This Day aims to promote government’s role in maintaining open democracy among all member nations of the United Nations Charter and to celebrate the system of values democracy promotes, giving citizens the power to make decisions regarding all aspects of their lives.

The values of freedom, respect for human rights, and the principle of holding periodic and genuine elections by universal suffrage are essential elements of democracy. As democracy provides the natural environment for the protection and effective realisation of human rights. The major purpose of this Day is to encourage everyone, including governments, to protect human rights and participate meaningfully in democracy.

The theme for this year’s International Day of Democracy is ‘Protecting Press Freedom for Democracy’ and will focus on delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals. Having a free, independent and pluralistic media will able us to keep the public informed on matters of public interest. UNESCO has reported that 85 percent of the world’s population experienced a decline in press freedom in their country in the past five years. Time has come to learn from the past lessons in order to strengthen democratic resilience in the face of future crises. We need to commit safeguarding of equality, participation, and solidarity for all.

We, at the World Assembly of Youth, seek to promote the aspirations of young people to strive for the realisation of shared universal values, such as: tolerance, pluralism, the respect of human rights, freedom, and dialogue. We believe that meaningful democracy requires the meaningful participation of youth. Young people have much to offer societies from innovation to creativity to new thinking. Their participation in democracy promotes active citizenship, strengthens social responsibility, and can enhance democratic processes and institutions.

As our contribution in observing the International Day of Democracy, we seek to participate in promoting free press and democracy in every way possible by having a sense of responsibility, especially towards the youth, that is to protect their rights and ensure that their voices are heard. Since our establishment, we have recognised and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in both our internal and external activities, including discussions, dialogues, and workshops with the aims of supporting and endorsing youth’s participation in the communities. Yet young people’s engagement with democracy faces significant challenges threatening the future of healthy democracies.

On this day, we would like to reiterate our call to all young people to be responsibly courageous in speaking up their thought and opinion, and in promoting free and genuine press. We need to continue to promote positive changes for better world of tomorrow. Let us commit to a future in which we recognise human rights and the rule of law as fundamental to democracy.

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