Warsaw, Poland

25 October 2013

Secretary-General's video message to the Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy, 25-26 October

Your Excellency, Mr. Radoslaw Sikorski, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Distinguished ministers and guests, Ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to convey my warm greetings to all taking part in the Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy.  I thank the Government of Poland for hosting.

This is a pivotal time for democracy.

Around the world, people are striving for justice and dignity, for a say in decision-making and a fair share of political power. 

At the United Nations, we have a duty and a mandate to keep reminding States of their commitments to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other instruments to ensure fundamental freedoms.

We also provide practical assistance to governments and civil society organizations to secure meaningful democratic participation throughout the world.

I welcome your theme: “Online and Offline – From Virtual Reality to Real Democracy”.

New communication technologies can make democracy more inclusive, more transparent and more accountable.

They can open a new era for civic action.  They can create greater space for dialogue.

I thank all participants in the Warsaw Dialogue for helping to strengthen voices for democracy.

I look forward to learning about its outcome – online and offline.

Thank you.