International Day of Democracy on September 15 allows us the opportunity to celebrate and appreciate our democratic society. It’s very easy for people who live in a free society to take their freedoms for granted. Yet, when freedom is absent, life includes unimaginable challenges that are often incomprehensible. Today, let’s reflect on the history of democracy around the world, thank those who influenced the development of our government, and look for opportunities to promote and protect our own nation’s democracy.
History of International Day of Democracy
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly passed a resolution in 2007 that September 15 of each year would be observed as the International Day of Democracy. Their goal for this day is to promote government’s role in maintaining open democracy among all member nations of the UN Charter and to celebrate the system of values democracy promotes, giving citizens the power to make decisions regarding all aspects of their lives.
In their efforts to advocate for democratic societies around the world, the UN serves a variety of purposes including monitoring elections, working to strengthen democratic institutions and accountability, and assisting nations recovering from conflict to create their own constitution.
From democracy’s birth in ancient Greece thousands of years ago to today, the foundation of a democratic society is the ability of its people to participate in the decision-making process of their nation. This can only happen when everyone is allowed to vote regardless of race, gender or other factors meaning inclusion and equality are also important to the success of a democratic society. In America, we have a representative democracy meaning we elect officials to represent our collective voice to vote on decisions.
As you reflect on your own freedoms and consider the country’s current state of democracy, take inventory of how many ways you participate in the collective-decision making of our country, and support the ideals of democracy.