DEMOCRACY DAY 2013
Theme: Strengthening Voices for Democracy- The UN General Assembly, in resolution A/62/7 (2007) encouraged Governments to strengthen national programmes devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy, and also decided that 15 September of each year should be observed as the International Day of Democracy. Regrettably, this goes unmarked in many government circles, polit...ical parties, and the general community. Democracy is struggling to get people understand what it is all about.
The subject of this year's theme -- Strengthening Voices for Democracy -- aims to shine a spotlight on the importance of people's voices, both expressed directly and through their elected representatives, in today's political, economic, social, developmental, environmental and technological debates. The ability of people to raise their voices and decide how they are governed lies at the heart of democracy.
SpringAidIntlD convened an event at its Owerri Office on 17 September to mark the International Day of Democracy. Spreading the UN theme for this year “Strengthening the voices of democracy” brought together civil society, human rights advocates, women groups and youth groups within Owerri, Aba, Onitsha, Port harcourt, Umuahia and Enugu areas of the East. The discussion focused on methods and strategies for the promotion of democratic goals and the training and equipment of agents of democracy in Nigeria. SpringAidintlD believes that all change, even very large powerful change, begins when a few people start talking with one another something they care about.
While democracies share common features, there is no single model of democracy. Activities carried out by the United Nations in support of efforts of Governments to promote and consolidate democracy are undertaken in accordance with the UN Charter.
The group agreed on the need to understand that democracy cannot be imposed from outside; that democracy means far more than holding elections; and that issues of legitimacy, security and accountability are fundamental to the scope for democratization. Educating and awareness rising in the area of human rights were underscored as vital to building a democratic culture. Democracy is a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives. Democracy is the responsibility of the people not just of the government. True citizenship requires active, informed participation.