|>>> VERSION FRANÇAISE|
|Chemin du Pommier 5, C.P. 330, CH-1218 Le Grand-Saconnex/Geneva, Switzerland|
THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DEMOCRACY, 15 SEPTEMBER
Approved by the IPU Governing Council at its 182nd session
The IPU should inscribe 15 September on its work programme each year with activities to celebrate the day by national parliaments and by the IPU itself. The celebrations would offer parliaments and the IPU an opportunity to pursue the following three objectives:
The Council recommends to take a longer term view, recognizing that it will necessarily take time for parliaments and the international community to adapt to this new international day. Some will do it sooner than others and some will not do anything at all, either because they already have similar activities fitting their agenda or they do not feel the need to do so. What is important is to try to create a tradition where parliaments take a leading role in celebrating democracy.
It will also be judicious to adopt an incremental approach whereby, over time, the IPU builds up a substantial activity. Having said that, the Executive Committee recommends that an early start takes place already this first year and, for that purpose, consider the following three elements for an IPU contribution to the International Day of Democracy in 2008:
(a) Promote national parliamentary events: Parliaments could organize some form of open debate on democracy on 15 September (or as close thereto as feasible in the light of circumstances). Such an event could take multiple forms such as:
(b) Organize a first celebration at IPU Headquarters: The IPU could organize a first modest event at its Headquarters in Geneva with three possible components:
(c) Participate in an event to be organized with the United Nations in New York: Discussions are just starting to determine the contours of a possible United Nations event organized at UN headquarters in New York, towards which the IPU could offer a parliamentary contribution based on the work of the Organization.
The IPU parliamentary handbook entitled Parliament and Democracy in the Twenty-First Century offers a conceptual framework that serves as a roadmap for IPU’s work to promote democracy. Currently, the IPU is finalizing a self-assessment tool that is meant for use by parliaments interested in determining what they can do to strengthen their institution on the basis of the recommendations and good practices reflected in the handbook. This tool could usefully inspire some parliaments when they are considering organizing an event on or around 15 September this year.
It is also possible to convert one of this year’s issues of the World of Parliaments into a special edition focussing on democracy. Such a publication could serve to highlight some of the very valuable democracy related materials produced by the IPU and could assist parliaments as they plan and carry out any special activity to commemorate International Day of Democracy. The publication could also be accompanied by a poster highlighting the International Day and the IPU Declaration on democracy