With UNDEF support, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance has now been ratified by 15 nations – a milestone which means the Charter will now enter into force. To take effect, the Charter requires at least 15 Member States to sign and ratify.
The UN Democracy Fund was one of the co-hosts of the Oslo Governance Forum in October 2011, which brought together 250 participants from government and civil society in more than 70 countries. The Forum focused on case studies of local participatory approaches to holding governments accountable.
At the CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal in September, UNDEF hosted a panel discussion that brought together UNDEF projects from four continents, each focusing on strengthening the voice of civil society.
For UNDEF's Fifth Round of Funding, the Secretary-General has approved a short list of 64 project proposals recommended by the UNDEF Advisory Board. The proposals were short-listed out of a record number of more than 3,700 applications - almost double the average number in the past few years. Because of the large number of applicants, UNDEF is able to respond directly only to those on the short list. For more details, please see our next newsletter in July.
At this crucial time for democratization efforts in several countries, UNDEF hosted a seminar on 9 May to present the findings of a vast study about how well the support family is supporting the many actors in the field.
'The Doers of Democracy', an exhibition of photographs organized by UNDEF, was displayed in the Visitors' Lobby at UN Headquarters in New York from 9 May to 15 July 2011, and at the Palais des Nations in Geneva in September 2011. The photographs, artifacts and publications in the exhibition all come from UNDEF projects around the world.
Welcome to the latest issue of UNDEF Update, the newsletter of the United Nations Democracy Fund.
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The following is an excerpt from testimony by Ted Piccone, Deputy Director for Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, to the hearing on "Reforming the United Nations" held by the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs on 3 March: