Election Universe

10 commitments to empower participation this Democracy Day

10 commitments to empower participation this Democracy Day
September 13 2019, 15:09

September 15 is the yearly observance to celebrate International Democracy Day. This year’s theme is “Participation.”

Given that genuine democracy relies on people’s full involvement, human rights protection, collective decision-making, respect of fundamental freedoms, and political equality and inclusion, this global event is an excellent opportunity to evaluate how we can promote stronger involvement of citizens in their political and social systems.

Here are 10 easy ways to reinforce public engagement and provide guidance and support to organizations working towards democratic development.

  1. Recognize and actively defend all fundamental rights and freedoms. Advocate for human rights defenders, journalists and parliamentarians under attack.
  2. Demand and act to ensure that people are given a genuine say in their own governance. Strengthen the rule of law through technical cooperation and partnerships.
  3. Work to eliminate any kind of discrimination in political participation and the system of justice. Pay attention to the needs of minorities, indigenous peoples, children and the young, disempowered majorities and other vulnerable groups. Help make their voices heard.
  4. Safeguard equality between men and women in decision-making and public life. Stand up for gender equality and the empowerment of women.
  5. Uphold free and fair elections by secret ballot. Endorse the right of every citizen entitled to vote to cast his/her ballot freely, as well as the right to stand as a candidate and be elected without discrimination.
  6. Learn how technology can assist management bodies (EMBs,) independent institutions, and observers in making elections more efficient, secure, reliable, and auditable.
  7. Find creative ways to reverse the current alienation and disenchantment of voters with their elected representatives and democratic institutions.
  8. Support local and international standards and measures to enhance confidence and credibility in elections, enrich the level of political discourse and fight disinformation.
  9. Urge parliaments to improve the checks and balances that allow democracy to thrive. Trust the power of capacity building, mediation and political dialogues in supporting peace, transitional democracies or managing election-related violence.
  10. Pledge to commit and promote the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Interact, challenge, and be mentored by world leaders, business and global humanitarian influencers, who are building platforms to discuss the future of democracy.