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International Day of Democracy
15 September


In 2007 the UN General Assembly decided that each year, 15 September should be observed as International Day of Democracy. Since then, hundreds of events for the day have been held in over 90 countries.

New York

Monday, September 15, 2014
1:00pm – 2:45pm

Afghans head to vote in historic elections

Voting in Haiti's Presidential Elections. UN Photo/Logan Abassi

Organised by the United Nations Working Group on Democracy, the International Peace Institute, the Community of Democracies, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and International IDEA (Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance).

Do young people find politics irrelevant and dull? Have young people discovered more powerful tools for democratic change than any generation before them?

People between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five constitute one-fifth of the world’s population, and in many developing countries the proportion is even higher. However, numerous studies show decreasing levels of youth participating in elections, political parties, and traditional social organizations. At the same time, informal, youth-led movements for democratic change are on the rise. Using new communication tools, young people are making their mark on democracy-building in untraditional ways.

The United Nations, several other international organizations, and a range of civil society groups have set out to facilitate and support the participation of young people in democracy worldwide. But what is the reality on the ground? How do young people engage in politics and policymaking? How can they contribute to creating more inclusive and participatory democracies? What challenges are they encountering? How do they perceive the role of the international community in strengthening young people’s engagement with democracy? How do they view the changes brought about by young people in the Arab Spring and elsewhere, and what are the lessons learned?


Trygve Lie Center for Peace, Security & Development
International Peace Institute
777 United Nations Plaza, 12th Floor

Introductory Remarks:

Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations


Warren Hoge, Senior Adviser for External Relations at the International Peace Institute


We hope you can join the engaging and dynamic discussion on this important issue.

For more information, please visit the International Peace Institute.

Register here.

You can follow the live webcast.

Athens, Greece

Monday, September 15, 2014
9.30am – 8.00pm

Organized for the second consecutive year by the International New York Times and Kathimerini newspapers in cooperation with the UN Democracy Fund.

The Athens Forum 2014: Democracy under pressure, is a series of discussions held at the Acropolis Museum and in the Ancient Agora of Athens -- the birthplace of democracy.

Speakers include Antonis Samaras, Prime Minister of Greece; Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden; Evangelos Venizelos, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece; Danilo Turk, former President of Slovenia; Costas Simitis, former Prime Minister of Greece; Vuk Jeremić, former President of the United Nations General Assembly; Georgios Kaminis, Mayor of Athens; Dmitry Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center; Mathias Müller von Blumencron, Editor, online edition at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung; and Annika Savill, Executive Head a.i. , UN Democracy Fund.

As the UN Secretary-General said in his message to the Forum, "Gatherings like the Athens Forum for Democracy are living proof that inclusive participation is not only an end in itself. It prepares communities, societies and entire countries to address opposing points of view, forge compromises and solutions, and engage in constructive criticism and deliberations."

This year’s programme follows the Athens Forum 2013, the first of its kind marking the International Day of Democracy.

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