INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRACY DAY HIGHLIGHTS
Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Warm greetings to fellow global citizens!
September 15 was marked as the celebration of the International Democracy Day. In Latin America, this was correspondingly met with a summit on regional security by Latin American countries. Just about couples of weeks before that, the ASEAN convened for its annual consensus-building with the extra highlight of dialogue between the ASEAN and China.
International democracy is not just about forging stronger democratic governance for each state across the globe. Such a pattern has in fact seemed to be the compass of governance, as former tyrannies disheveled while Arab dictatorships are facing militant regime-change rebels in the MENA.
International democracy also refers to the conduct of nation-states in their day-to-day interaction with each other. The world lacks a global government to serve as central institutional administrative hub, so we have to contend with an ‘anarchy of nation-states’ now and in the foreseeable future. In the absence of global government, we all have to do with treaties and covenants, from binding to non-binding ones, and observe civility in our conduct across the borders.
New power arrangements are now being crafted, as the shift from unilateral power hegemon to multi-polar arrangement is taking place. That is truly a difficult road to traverse, though a viable one at the least. For as long as we are all talking with each other across borders, we can forge international democracy in its widest latitude possible.
Below are some highlights of the latest celebration as reported by the UNDP.
[Philippines, 01 October 2011]
International Day of Democracy
15 September 2011
Democratic governance is a cornerstone of the United Nations Development Programme’s work, instrumental to empowering nations and communities in 177 countries and territories around the world and advancing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Fostering inclusive participation
For the January 2011 Southern Sudan Referendum, UNDP worked through the UN Integrated Referendum and Electoral Division to:
- manage donor funds of more than US$56 million in international assistance;
- procure 3,160 registration kits, 7.5 million ballots and 8,500 polling booths;
- deliver polling materials via commercial trucks, helicopters and air drops.
UNDP also supported voter education and media training, and deployed more than 500 electoral observers to 62 counties during the voter registration period. More results >
Promoting responsive governing institutions
In Georgia, UNDP supported the Legal Aid Service in opening 11 offices and three consultation centres across the country, near populations most in need of legal services. In 2010, the service received more than 20,000 applications for assistance. UNDP also supported training of lawyers and the public on civil rights. More results >
Mainstreaming international principles
In Afghanistan, women won 27 percent of parliamentary seats, exceeding a 25 percent quota reserved for them at September 2010 elections, following a programme of UNDP electoral assistance that included awareness raising and training on gender-related issues. More results >
A record number of more than 7.3 million Guatemalans registered to vote ahead of Guatemala's presidential elections on 11 September. More
UNDP trained some 31,000 Electoral Commission and temporary staff to conduct various functions for the upcoming presidential and assembly vote, including registration and updates to the existing register. More
A mass media campaign in Cambodia empowers young adults aged 15-24, targeting three million of voting age ahead of local elections next year and a national election in 2013. More
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