11 September 2009
Press Release
Note No. 6216

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Note to Correspondents

Worldwide Online Competition to Launch Winning Entries at Headquarters Ceremony


Marking International Day of Democracy, 15 September


The Democracy Video Challenge, a worldwide online competition that engages people around the world in a global dialogue on democracy, will launch the six winning videos in a ceremony marking the International Day of Democracy on Tuesday, 15 September, at 11:00 a.m. in the Main Gallery of the Visitors’ Lobby.

Speakers at the launch will include Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, and Jeremy Curtin, Coordinator, Bureau of International Information Programs, United States Department of State.

The Challenge asks people around the world to create short videos that complete the phrase, “Democracy is ….”  By calling for user-generated material and by providing a platform for various points of view, the Democracy Video Challenge is an example of how to engage and to listen to people around the world on this important theme.

Over 900 contestants from 95 countries submitted videos, and the online voting public selected the Challenge’s 2009 class of winners.  The six regional winners are from Brazil, Nepal, Philippines, Poland, United Arab Emirates and Zambia.  Each of the winning videos captures a different vision of democracy in today’s world and incorporates thought-provoking creative elements, ranging from an animated short film about life without free expression, to a rap documentary on the importance of sound leadership.

The Challenge’s second cycle begins on 15 September 2009.  Submissions will be accepted until midnight GMT on 31 January 2010.  Please visit the contest site at:  www.youtube.com/videochallenge.

On 8 November 2007, the General Assembly proclaimed 15 September as the International Day of Democracy, which provides an opportunity to review annually the state of democracy in the world.

“…experience has taught us, time and again, that democracy is essential to achieving our fundamental goals of peace, human rights and development”, remarked United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the General Assembly on the first International Day of Democracy last year.

This display is organized by the United States Department of State, in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations.

For more information on United Nations exhibitions, call Jan Arnesen at tel.:  212 963 8531 or Liza Wichmann at tel.:  212 963 0089.

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For information media • not an official record