|"As we mark Democracy Day, I urge all governments to respect the right to active, substantive and meaningful participation; and I salute all of you who strive tirelessly to make this happen." — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
Today, we celebrate the International Day of Democracy, remembering that democracy is made by the people, for the people. Inclusion, equality and participation for all - irrespective of gender, ethnicity, social status, or age - are key principles of democracy. Democracy is fundamental for peace, sustainable development, and the fulfillment of the human rights.
Nations throughout the world are guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , which emphasizes that “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government.” Today, we are reminded that true democracy relies on continuous and well-functioning dialogue between the people and governing structures. Only then we can speak of the will of the people.
Sustainable development, peace and human rights are all about people, yet, we continue to see growing inequalities, climate emergency, unresolved conflicts, and shrinking space for civic engagement.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a framework for action, for all. SDG 16 calls for promoting peaceful and inclusive societies, access to justice for all, and building of effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. We believe in governance that allows for peaceful, just and inclusive societies. We believe that people’s lives are better when government is efficient and responsive. When people from all social groups are included in decision-making that affects their lives, and when they have equal access to fair institutions, they will have more trust in their government.
UNDP’s Signature Solutions , cross-cutting approaches to development, enable us to build on our strengths and expertise to help achieve SDGs in partnership with beneficiaries, partners, and the UN family.
UNDP is proud to have been supporting Kosovo on its development path over the past 20 years. Jointly with Kosovo institutions and international partners we have tackled challenges related to governance, rule of law, employment, environment and climate change, gender equality, amongst many. Our efforts are based on principles of inclusiveness and participation – providing an opportunity for the youth, women, minorities, and those living in rural areas to engage in a meaningful way in shaping their future.
We encourage policy-makers to engage fully with citizens and civil society, to shape policies that respond to the needs of the people, particularly those in the margins of society. We encourage citizens to exercise their right to a voice, to articulate their needs. We encourage civil society to hold decision-makers accountable for their actions and inactions.
The International Day of Democracy acts as reminder to all governments across the world to respect their citizen’s right to meaningful political participation. In a peaceful society, there is a strong link between institutions and its citizens. Inclusion and accountability stand paramount to any other objective. Dialogue between institutions and citizens must serve as a substantial influence on good governance, for now and years to come.