|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
SECRETARY-GENERAL’S ADVISORY BOARD FOR UNITED NATIONS DEMOCRACY FUND
TO REVIEW PROGRESS AFTER INAUGURAL YEAR
The Secretary-General’s Advisory Board for the United Nations Democracy Fund will hold its fourth meeting on 10 April to review progress on the work of the Fund after the inaugural year of activities, and decide on priorities and policies for the future. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will address the Board, which meets in a closed session in Conference Room 7 at 10 a.m.
The Fund has received to date a total of $61.2 million from 28 countries, with an additional contribution of $4 million firmly pledged by donors. The latest contribution came from Japan on 7 March in the amount of $10 million, making Japan the second largest financial contributor to the Fund, along with India. The largest financial contributor is the United States with $18 million.
Following the review by the Advisory Board, the Fund plans to seek submission of new projects for 2007. The submissions will be screened by the Programme Consultative Group, which serves as United Nations inter-agency mechanism to provide expert advice, and then by the Advisory Board. The projects recommended for funding will be submitted to the Secretary-General for approval.
The Secretary-General’s Advisory Board is composed of 17 members. It includes representatives from the largest Member State contributors to the Fund, as well as representatives from Member States selected by the Secretary-General to reflect diverse geographical representation. It also includes representatives from civil society and personal representatives of the Secretary-General. The current composition of the Advisory Board is Australia, France, Germany, India, Qatar and the United States (as main contributors); Benin, Chile, Hungary, Indonesia and South Africa (to ensure geographical diversity); representatives of the World Alliance for Citizens Participation (CIVICUS) and the International Commission of Jurists; Michael Doyle of Columbia University; Guillermo O’Donnell of the University of Notre Dame; Rima Khalaf Hunaidi, former Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); and Amir A. Dossal, Executive Director of the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships, in an ex-officio capacity. The main purpose of the Advisory Board is to provide policy guidance for the development of a programme framework and funding guidelines, and to recommend funding proposals for approval by the Secretary-General.
The Democracy Fund was established by the Secretary-General in July 2005 and welcomed at the 2005 World Summit, which reaffirmed democracy as “a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural system and their full participation in all aspects of their lives”, while noting that “there is no single model of democracy, and that it does not belong to any country or region”. The objective of the Fund is to promote democracy throughout the world by providing assistance for projects that consolidate and strengthen democratic institutions and facilitate democratic governance. It complements current United Nations efforts to promote free and fair elections, human rights, support to civil society, pluralistic media and the rule of law.
In 2006, the Secretary-General approved 125 projects totalling $36 million. The largest share of the projects went to sub-Saharan Africa (37 per cent). Funded projects included promotion of civic education, electoral support and political parties (28 per cent); democratic dialogue and constitutional processes (26 per cent); civil society empowerment (16 per cent); accountability, transparency and integrity (16 per cent); human rights and fundamental freedoms (9 per cent); and access to information (6 per cent).
Further information on the Democracy Fund is available on its website: www.un.org/democracyfund.
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