Diplomats, UN officials and civil society representatives gathered during the opening of the UN General Assembly for the launch of the UNDEF/Hunger Project 2013 State of Participatory Democracy Report. The report is part of a two-year project to cultivate a global community of practice, develop a multidimensional Participatory Local Democracy Index, and publish an annual report of its findings. The report was covered in a Huffington Post article
UNDEF co-convened an event at the International Peace Institute in New York on 16 September to mark the International Day of Democracy. The invitation-only event, “Democratization at the Sharp End” brought together leading UN officials from the UN’s work in the field, including Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations and former Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti; Margaret Vogt, outgoing Special Representative of Secretary-General in the Central African Republic; and Sanaka Samarasinha, UN Resident Coordfinator in Belarus. They were joined by Michael Doyle, Chair of the Advisory Board of UN Democracy Fund,
India’s Ambassador to the UN, Manjeev Singh Puri, kicked off UNDEF's Board meeting by handing over a cheque for 1.85 million dollars from the world's largest democracy. This brings to over 31 million dollars India's total contribution since the Fund was established in 2005.
The UN Secretary-General issued a message on Human Rights Day, 10 December, warning that "In several parts of the world, we have seen alarming threats to hard-won gains in democratic governance. In some countries, civil society groups face growing pressures and restrictions. Legislation has been introduced specifically targeting civil society organizations and making it almost impossible for them to operate. Champions of democracy have encountered new confrontational measures.
UNDEF opens its annual window for project proposals for its Seventh Round of Funding on 15 November 2012, following the green light given by UNDEF Advisory Board. Project proposals may be submitted on-line between 15 November and 31 December. Only on-line proposals in either English or French will be accepted.
In a keynote address to the Council of Europe's World Forum for Democracy, the UN Secretary-General spoke of the practical actions the UN is taking to support democracy.
"Our Democracy Fund, the UN Development Programme, UN Women, the UN Peacebuilding Fund and the UN Secretariat are working with other partners within and beyond the United Nations to foster democracy around the world," Ban Ki-moon told the event held in Strasbourg on 8 October.
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.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, presented the Secretary-General with a cheque for 4.71 million dollars for the UN Democracy Fund on 30 March 2012, bringing to nearly 30 million dollars India's total contribution since the Fund’s inception seven years ago. As the world’s largest democracy and one of the original founders of UNDEF, India thus remains UNDEF’s second largest donor.
UNDEF is delighted that Jeffrey Wright has accepted the UN Secretary-General’s invitation to serve on the UNDEF Advisory Board for 2012-13. An award-winning film, television, and stage actor acclaimed for his versatility, with roles in productions ranging from James Bond movies and Angels in America to the recent electoral thriller Ides of March and the Academy Award-nominated Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Mr. Wright is also the co-founder and chair of Taia Peace Foundation, which works to empower rural communities in Africa, especially in Sierra Leone. Mr.