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.
In New York:
In 2013, the United Nations Working Group on Democracy and the International Peace Institute (IPI) co-organized a policy forum that focused on the UN’s efforts to promote democratisation through its various field presences.
Around the world:
UNO Yerevan, in cooperation with the Civic Development and Partnership Foundation and the Students Civic Club, organized three events to commemorate the International Day of Democracy: a lecture for students from different universities on democracy and UN; a roundtable discussion at the UN House titled “Cooperation of the Private Sector and NGOs for the Development of Civil Society,” and a civil society fair in the Lovers’ Park in Yerevan on 18 and 19 September.
The UN Information Centre in Canberra partnered with the Museum of Australian Democracy, hosted in the Old Parliament House in Canberra. The partnership -- now in its third year -- saw the museum fly the UN flag and provide its visitors with information on the role of the United Nations in fostering democracy around the world, as well as the important role played by Australia in supporting the Organisation. The importance of the democratic process was on full display at the museum only a week earlier when the Old Parliament House participated in the national federal election as an official polling station.
The UN Information Centre in Ouagadougou, in partnership with the National Association of Journalists of Burkina Faso, organized a public conference on the opportunities provided by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for democracy promotion in Africa. The Secretary-General of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies of Burkina Faso was the main speaker. About 200 people attended the conference on 16 September.
The UN Democracy Fund, UNDEF, partnered with the International Herald Tribune to hold the Athens Forum 2013: Democracy under Pressure in the Ancient Agora of Athens -- the birthplace of democracy. The event, which can be watched in its entirety here, examined the state of democracy in the world and the pressure resulting from economic, social and religious factors. Participants included Antonis Samaras, Prime Minister of Greece; Giorgos Kaminis, Mayor of Athens; Carl Bildt, Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs and "the best connected world leader", according to a new study of Twitter; Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development of India, the world's largest democracy; New York Times columnist Roger Cohen; Masha Gessen, Russian-US journalist author; Sultan Al-Qassemi, leading blogger and voice on the Arab Spring; and Annika Savill, UNDEF Deputy Executive Head. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a message to the Forum, noting that the meeting place in the Agora "reminds us that the practice of democracy is not a spectator sport, and that it is more like a marathon than a sprint".
Lebanon: The UN Information Centre in Beirut approached prominent newspapers and encouraged them to write articles about the status of democracy in the region and the role of the UN in establishing/restoring democracies. This resulted in four published articles -- by the Daily Star (the only English daily in Lebanon), L'Orient Le Jour (the only French daily in Lebanon), Assafir and Al Mustaqbal.
Around 1,500 people responded to a call to participate in a walk for Peace and Democracy under the theme of “Education for Peace and Democracy.” The walk was organized by the UN and the network of women’s associations of Madagascar on the occasion of the International Days of Peace and Democracy.
The participants carried white sheets displaying their claims and aspirations for peace and democracy.
The UN Information Centre in Windhoek collaborated with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the NGO Forum Trust, who led a public dialogue held at the University of Namibia Medical School. The theme for the dialogue was “Deepening Democracy - Galvanizing Popular Participation in Elections.” In addition, democracy media kits were disseminated to media houses, and UNIC arranged for radio interviews for the Resident Coordinator. Further, a poetry contest was launched encouraging high school students to submit poems on their interpretation of democracy. UNDP also recorded video messages on what democracy means to young people.
The UN Information Centre in Colombo met media personnel to review the relationship between UNIC and the media, and to discuss new technologies in media and in UN news. A video presentation on the activities of the UN globally and of UNIC in Sri Lanka was screened. There was also a presentation on the role of Press Complaint Commission of Sri Lanka on 10 September.
Parliaments around the world worked with the Inter-Parliamentary Union to organize a variety of events and activities.