September 15th is celebrated annually across the world as International Day of Democracy.
International Day of Democracy:
The day is observed globally to mark the importance of democracy and create awareness among people about democratic rights.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights- ‘the right to freedom of expression is a fundamental human right’
The ideal of democracy can only be realised as a reality to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere with full participation, cooperation, and support of the international community, civil society, national governing bodies, and individuals.
History:The day was established after a resolution was passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007.
According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the resolution was geared toward strengthening and consolidating democracy.
The International Day of Democracy was first celebrated in 2008and since then, numerous parliamentary events have been organised worldwide.
Theme:The theme for International Day of Democracy 2022 is “the importance of media freedom to democracy, peace, and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals”.
Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU):
IPU is global inter-parliamentary institution.
It was established in 1889 and was the first permanent forum for political multilateral negotiations.
It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
Its initial objective was arbitration of conflicts.
It played important role in setting up Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
Over time, its mission has evolved towards promotion of democracy and inter-parliamentary dialogue.
It has worked for establishment of institutions at inter-governmental level, including UN.
Initially, IPU was for individual parliamentarians, but has since transformed into international organization of parliaments of sovereign states.
The national parliaments of 178 countries are its members and 14 regional parliamentary assemblies are its associate members.