UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlights the importance of democracy education in his message for this year’s International Day of Democracy on 15 September. He writes that democracy education is “needed so that all citizens in all nations, in democracies young and old, established or fragile, fully understand their rights and responsibilities. And it is especially needed in countries that have made recent democratic gains so that progress made does not unravel.
“The United Nations is strongly committed to working with partners to develop global and local initiatives that elevate democracy education as an integral part of all education initiatives and as a component of long-term governance strategies. Let us build partnerships between international education experts and Governments to develop and disseminate best practices. Let us develop a culture of civic participation to explore opportunities made possible by new media, and support countries in devising curricula and training methods.”
To mark the Day, UNDEF will join Governments, the Community of Democracies, the Organization of American States, the UN Institute for Training and Research and UNESCO at an event on democracy education on 17 September. UNDEF Executive Head Roland Rich will participate in a panel discussion along with the Permanent Representatives of Mongolia and Poland, the President of the Council for a Community of Democracies, the Director of Education and Culture of the Organization of American States and others. The event coincides with the launch of a new UNDEF-funded project to put democracy education into wider practice.