Why was UNDEF established?

Dec 14, 2012

Democracy and democratization have long been part of the UN's overall agenda, as reflected in many UN documents including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the Agenda for Democracy (1996) and the Millennium Declaration (2000) which put emphasis on popular participation in governance.

Specific entities of the UN System have been explicitly addressing these issues for some time, notably the UN Department of Political Affairs, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Development Programme.

In the wake of the UN reform, the wish to re-emphasize the importance of this issue and further develop efforts in this regard was materialized in the Secretary-General proposals to the 2005 World Summit. One of these proposals was the creation of the Democracy Fund at the United Nations, which was welcomed by Member States.