September 15th

International Day of Democracy -

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Every year on the 15th of September, we come together to celebrate a cornerstone of our modern society: the International Day of Democracy. This special date serves as a reminder to us all of the essential elements that form the foundation of democratic governance worldwide. The United Nations General Assembly was pivotal in citing this date as a chance for us to reflect on and reaffirm our commitment to democratic ideals. By valuing human rights, upholding the law, and ensuring fair and inclusive elections, we continue to strive for a world where the voice of every individual matters.

As festivities and programs unfold across different nations, they carry a common message that emphasizes the necessity for us all to engage in meaningful dialogues and public affairs actively. It’s on this day that we are all reminded: True democracy is more than a mere political system; it is the pursuit of a more just and equitable global society.

History of International Day of Democracy

The International Day of Democracy, celebrated each year on the 15th of September, stands as a hallmark observance initiated by the United Nations. This day came into being after the UN General Assembly embraced the idea on the 8th of November, 2007. This unanimous decision was made to emphasize the significance of democracy and its promotion around the globe.

Established as a result of global consensus, the origins of this day take root in the Universal Declaration on Democracy. This document was put forth by the Inter-Parliamentary Union on the same date a decade earlier, in 1997. It eloquently outlined the core values of democratic principles and governance.

Marking International Day of Democracy serves several vital purposes. It acts as a prompt for nations to augment their endeavors in fostering democratic ideals. It is a day that underscores the essence of listening and responding to the populace’s desires in governance.

Each iteration of this day is defined by a central motif, addressing contemporary obstacles or prospects in the realm of democracy. These topics have ranged from nurturing the democratic engagement of youth to safeguarding the freedom of the press and mitigating socio-economic disparities.

Typically, the day’s celebrations aren’t marked by grandiose festivals but rather through thoughtful seminars, discussions, and educational drives. These efforts are spearheaded by a plethora of entities including but not limited to governmental bodies, NGOs, the United Nations, and regional groups. The aim is to enhance the general understanding of democratic values, encourage citizen participation in democratic systems, address democratic dilemmas, and brainstorm on fortifying democratic institutions.

International Day of Democracy Timeline

Roman Republic Established

The Roman Republic began after the last Etruscan king was overthrown, creating a political system that included elements of democracy.

Athenian Democracy

Cleisthenes, an Athenian statesman, introduced a new system of governance that allowed citizens to participate in decision-making.

Magna Carta

The signing of the Magna Carta in England placed constraints on the power of the king and laid the foundation for the development of a constitutional monarchy.

Habeas Corpus Act

This Act passed in England and Wales to safeguard individual freedoms and ensure a fair trial, preventing unlawful and indefinite imprisonment.

American Declaration of Independence

The United States declared independence from Great Britain, with a foundational document grounded in democratic principles.

French Revolution

The French Revolution began, which would lead to the establishment of a republic in France and the promotion of democratic ideals throughout Europe.

Fall of the Berlin Wall

The fall of the Berlin Wall symbolized the collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the eventual reunification of Germany.

International Day of Democracy

The resolution for the International Day of Democracy was passed by the United Nations, encouraging governments to strengthen and consolidate democracy.

Ideas to Celebrate International Day of Democracy

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Organize a Democracy Workshop

Hold a workshop in your community to discuss the principles and challenges of democracy. Invite local leaders, educators, and activists to share insights and lead open discussions on the importance of civic participation, the rule of law, and human rights.

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Host a Democracy Debate

Create a platform for a healthy public debate on current democratic processes. Encourage participation from diverse groups in your community to ensure multiple viewpoints are represented. The focus could revolve around local, national, or global issues.

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Screen Democracy-themed Films

Organize a film screening event with a selection of films and documentaries that highlight democratic values and struggles for democratic rights around the world. Follow up with discussions or Q&A sessions with film experts or human rights activists.

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Social Media Campaign

Leverage social media platforms to start a hashtag campaign raising awareness about International Day of Democracy. Encourage users to share what democracy means to them, post stories of democratic participation, or highlight issues that need democratic attention.

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Democracy Book Club

Start a book club that focuses on reading and discussing works related to democratic governance, history, and its key thinkers. The club could meet on International Day of Democracy to discuss a particular book, followed by a public summary of the debates and ideas.

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Write to Your Representatives

Encourage community members to write letters or emails to their elected representatives about the importance of democracy and the issues they feel need to be addressed. Provide templates and resources to help them articulate their views effectively.

7 Interesting Facts About Democracy

1.

The Birthplace of Democracy

Democracy is often credited as being born in ancient Athens in the 5th century BCE. It was a direct form of democracy where citizens—not women, slaves, or foreigners—could speak and vote in assemblies that made decisions for the city-state.

2.

The Term 'Democracy'

The word 'democracy' comes from the Greek words 'demos' (meaning 'the people') and 'kratos' (meaning 'power' or 'rule'). So democracy essentially means 'rule by the people'.

3.

Varieties of Democracy

There are various forms of democracy, including direct democracy where people decide on policies directly, and representative democracy where people elect representatives to make decisions on their behalf. There's also a mix of both, known as a semi-direct or participatory democracy.

4.

First Use of a Secret Ballot

The secret ballot is a cornerstone of democratic elections, ensuring voters' choices are free from intimidation. South Australia was the first to implement the secret ballot during elections in 1856, a practice which then spread globally.

5.

Women's Suffrage

New Zealand was the first country to grant all women the right to vote in 1893, a significant milestone in the development of democracies. It took many other countries several decades to follow suit.

6.

The Largest Democracy

India is often referred to as the 'world's largest democracy' due to its massive electorate. With over 900 million eligible voters as of its 2019 general election, India's democratic exercises are a huge logistical undertaking.

7.

Democracy and Peace

The 'Democratic Peace Theory' posits that democracies are less likely to engage in war with one another compared to non-democracies. While subject to debate and nuances, it suggests that shared norms and institutional constraints might reduce conflict among democratic nations.

International Day of Democracy FAQs

Next International Day of Democracy Dates

Year Date Day
2023 September 15th Friday
2024 September 15th Sunday
2025 September 15th Monday
2026 September 15th Tuesday
2027 September 15th Wednesday
What is the pattern? Every September 15th

International Day of Democracy Word Search

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  • Democracy
  • Freedom
  • Vote
  • Rights
  • Equality
  • Elections