International Day of Democracy
When is International Day of Democracy?
International Day of Democracy is an annual global holiday celebrated on September 15th. Established by the United Nations, the purpose is to celebrate democracy in nations who use this governing principle, as well as increase awareness of democracy worldwide. The U.N. hopes that someday every nation in the world will operate on democracy.
What is Democracy?
While the concept of democracy may be new to some communities, it is actually an ancient form of representation. Democracy can be traced back to as early as ancient Greece, where people in Athens were given political rights under this form of government. The essence of democracy is to give the people the right to vote and to have a share in their countries’ state of affairs.
In modern history, democracy is best known through its implementation by the United States. When the U.S. broke away from Great Britain in the eighteenth century, its leaders sought to uphold a democracy so that the people could have a say in their government. Since then, the United States has helped to spread democracy to other countries out of the belief that this is the most effective and fair political system in existence.
The United Nations also believes that democracy is the best policy. Democracy itself is linked to fewer wars and terrorist acts, as well as a better economy and equality. In 1988, the agency held the first International Conference of New or Restored Democracies, an event that helped promote global democracy. This action helps countries recognize that they may still maintain their cultural differences while still adopting democracy.
In 2007, the UN General Assembly voted on an annual holiday to celebrate and educate worldwide communities on this political system. The first International Day of Democracy was held on September 15, 2008. This was also meant to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the first International Conference of New or Restored Democracies. Since then, the International Day of Democracy has served as a reminder to help others in oppressed countries, as well as an opportunity for democratic nations to celebrate their freedom.
The extent and types of celebrations depends on the region. In the United States, for example, the International Day of Democracy is a welcome celebration. While the date isn’t a public holiday, Americans often celebrate through special events. Since the military is regarded as a tool to help preserve democracy, there may be memorials dedicated to all the citizens who have served.
Celebrating democracy doesn’t come as easily to those who live in countries that don’t operate under a democratic system. Still, this isn’t a deterrent, as more and more nations are converting to democratic systems through the demands of the people. It is important to keep in mind that, although democracy often comes with a fight, all the events surrounding the International Day of Democracy are meant to be peaceful. This includes demonstrations as well as public education seminars.
The United Nations also has themes for every International Day of Democracy, as a way to increase interest in obtaining education on various aspects of democracy. Past themes include “Make Your Voice Heard” and “Democracy Education,” all of which emphasize the role people have in the government. The U.N. encourages citizens to take action to make their government work for them based on principles of peace.
There is no official symbol that represents this holiday. Instead, International Day of Democracy is often represented by the U.N. logo.