Warsaw, Poland

16 December 2016

Secretary-General's message to the Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy

I am pleased to send warm greetings all participants at the Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy.  I thank you for coming together to discuss challenges that have never been more acute than they are today.
In too many places, democracy is under assault.  Authoritarian rule has deepened.  Civil society and media face increasing restrictions.
At the same time, we face violent extremism, unacceptable gaps between rich and poor, and the highest levels of displacement of people since the Second World War.
We also need to work with speed and resolve towards the Sustainable Development Goals that are guiding our shared work until 2030 as we seek to eradicate poverty and promote peace and dignity for all on a healthy planet.
This requires us to deploy all the fundamental components of democracy: the rule of law, accountable institutions, a strong civil society, independent media and the freedoms of expression and assembly.
It requires us to work together to promote pluralism, diversity, and inclusion. 
I thank all at this year’s Dialogue for focusing on key themes such justice, tolerance, transparency, fighting corruption, protecting religious minorities, education for democracy, and citizens’ oversight of elections.  The United Nations stands with you in promoting progress on all these fronts.
Together, let us work to advance the values of democracy.