The UN General Assembly declared on Thursday September 15 as the International Day of Democracy with adoption of a new resolution.
Adopting by consensus the resolution, the assembly recognized that 2008 marked the twentieth anniversary of the first International Conference of New or Restored Democracies, which would offer a special opportunity to focus attention on the promotion and consolidation of democracy at all levels.
As such, the world body decided to commemorate the International Day, stressed that it should be brought to the attention of all people for its celebration and observance, and invited hence all member states to participate in a manner that contributed to raising public awareness.
By the resolution, which was introduced by Germany during an animated plenary debate on new or restored democracies, the assembly reaffirmed that democracy was 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 life.
It also reaffirmed that while democracies share common features, there is no single model of democracy.
The assembly further encouraged governments to strengthen national programs devoted to promoting and consolidating democracy, including through increased bilateral, regional and international cooperation.
Also by the text, the assembly urged the secretary-general to improve the United Nations' capacity to effectively respond to states' needs by supporting their efforts to achieve good governance and democratization.
(Xinhua News Agency November 9, 2007)