Today, September 15th, we celebrate the International Day of Democracy, which was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) to provide an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. On this date last year, the Club de Madrid launched the Next Generation Democracy (NGD) global initiative to facilitate a broad discussion on the state and future of democracy and formulate both regional and global agendas on the way to more effectively respond to signals of decline in the quality of democratic governance and advance democracy worldwide.
One year after the launch of NGD, a first Policy Dialogue was held in Florence as well as four regional roundtables: the Broader MENA Roundtable in Dubai, the Wider Europe and Post-Soviet Eurasia Rountables in Stockholm and the Americas Roundtable in Bogotá, with the participation of governments, representatives from multilateral and civil society organizations, the private sector, academia, in the search for sustainable solutions to democratic development, alongside Club de Madrid Members from the regions.
Whilst the nature and quality of democracy varies significantly from one region to another, indeed from one country to another, all of them face common challenges such as inequality, poverty, corruption, security… Most of these are addressed on the Sustainable Development Goals that will be approved during on the upcoming UN General Assembly. This new Agenda, however, does not sufficiently embrace democracy, or democratic governance as such. Without democracy, there will be no real sustainable development.
The Club de Madrid is convinced that democratic governance is the answer. Regrettably, once again we celebrate this day cautiously, recognizing that much needs to be done at all levels to foster democratic thinking and action. “Democracy that delivers” demands the engagement of us all. Let’s work together to promote and consolidate democracy worldwide.
Photo Credit: Tunisia Elections-Freedom House