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  Events on the occasion of the
  International Day of Democracy 2009

We want democracy. Getty Images IPU encourages all parliaments to organize activities on 15 September to promote dialogue with citizens and highlight the theme of Democracy and political tolerance. Suggestions for events and other activities that parliaments may organize around that date are listed below.


In the course of 2009, the IPU organized three initiatives focused on the theme of "Democracy and political tolerance":

  • Parliamentary Conference on Democracy in Africa
    On 14-16 September 2009, the IPU organized a
    conference in Botswana to promote awareness of the International Day of Democracy, the fundamental principles of democracy and the major issues facing the democratic community today. The Conferenceidentified the particular role and responsibilities of parliaments in relation to these issues. More specifically, it promoted parliaments’ engagement with the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, encourage action by them to ensure ratification by their Governments and internalise the provisions thereof in domestic legislation and practice. It promoted greater political tolerance within political parties and between governing and opposition parties.
  • Worldwide Public Opinion Survey Worldwide Public Opinion Survey
    The IPU commissioned a worldwide public opinion survey with questions formulated around the overall theme for 2009, democracy and political tolerance. The findings of the survey are available in the form of a report entitled "World public opinion on political tolerance" and accompanied by a press release. The IPU President, Dr. Theo-Ben Gurirab, issued a special statement on the occasion of the public release of the Report.
  • Study on Party Control over Parliamentary Mandate
    The IPU is conducting this study to obtain a deeper understanding of the situation regarding political party control over the parliamentary mandate. The power of political parties to revoke the parliamentary mandate and the implications of "political party dictatorship" are real problems which require discussion and action.
In connection with the first International Day of Democracy, celebrated on 15 September 2008, the IPU organized a panel discussion at the House of Parliaments in Geneva. Detalied information about this event, including a video message addressed to it by the former President of the United States of America, Mr. Jimmy Carter, are available on a separate page.


Parliaments are requested to inform the IPU about their plans for the International Day of Democracy. Below is a list of parliamentary events organized in 2009 that IPU is aware of. The list is based on the information received by IPU from parliaments around the world.

Click on the country name to see information about the corresponding parliament as stored in PARLINE database. To add information about an event to the list, please contact the IPU Secretariat.

Last updated on 6 November 2009   
CountryDescription of event
AlgeriaThe Council of the Nation organized a day of reflection on the theme of “Democratization and human rights” on 14 September at its premises. The event brought together members of both Houses of Parliament as well as representatives of civil society and academia.
AndorraOn 15 September the Speaker of Parliament will read the IPU President’s statement on democracy and political tolerance entitled "The world’s citizens want more political tolerance". This reading will take place during the ceremony to launch a self-assessment of the Andorran Parliament.
ArmeniaOn 15 September, the President of the Armenian National Assembly sent a message to celebrate the International Day of Democracy. It was distributed to the media and it can also be found on the Parliament's website.
BahrainBoth chambers of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Shura Council and the Council of Representatives, issued a joint statement to celebrate the International Day of Democracy. This statement was published by local newspaper and covered by TV and radio. Bahrain TV (BTV) also presented a special news report including comments by members of both chambers affirming their commitment to Political Tolerance, the theme of the second International Day of Democracy.
BangladeshA discussion on "Democracy and political tolerance" was organized at the parliament on the occasion of the second International Day of Democracy. The House then passed a resolution to observe the International Day of Democracy every year by holding a discussion in parliament.
BelarusOn 16 September, to mark the second International Day of Democracy, a day of Open Doors for the students of the Lyceum of Belarusian State University was held in the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly.
BhutanA panel discussion on the "Promotion and consolidation of democracy" was organized by UNDP, the National Council and the National Assembly on 14 September. Students also took part in this discussion, which was broadcast on 15 September by the national TV channel.
BotswanaThe National Assembly of Botswana, in cooperation with the IPU, is organizing a three-day Parliamentary Conference on Democracy in Africa. The theme of the conference is “Democracy and political tolerance”. Conference objectives include promoting parliaments' engagement with the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and analysing challenges to political tolerance, including the rights and duties of the opposition in parliament and political party control over the parliamentary mandate.
BrazilThe Senate will hold a special session on 15 September to mark the International Day of Democracy. The Senate’s Journal, as well as its TV station, radio station and press agency, will broadcast this special session and thereby help disseminate democratic principles to all of Brazil.The Senate will also organize an exhibition dedicated to the Universal Declaration on Democracy at its premises and will distribute copies of the Declaration to invited guests and visitors, along with copies of the Constitution of Brazil and the Voters Guide.
Bulgaria The delegation of the Bulgarian Assembly to the IPU issued a statement to the media on 15 September to celebrate the International Day of Democracy. This statement can be found on the Parliament's website.
Burkina FasoThe National Assembly has planned sensitization and information activities in all of the country’s provinces.
CambodiaThe National Assembly and Senate will organize a workshop on the theme of ‘Democracy and political tolerance’ on 15 September, with the support of UNDP and the IPU. The workshop will include sessions on ‘Building a Culture of Pluralism and Tolerance in Asia’, ‘Managing Diversity and Promoting inclusiveness in decision making’ and ‘Improving the functioning of Parliament’.
CameroonThe Parliament of Cameroon celebrated the 2nd International Day of Democracy on Tuesday, 15 September, 2009 under the theme “Democracy and political tolerance”. The Day was marked by five key events: a public awareness drive, a formal opening ceremony, an “open day” at the National Assembly, a round table discussion and a formal closing ceremony.
CanadaA common statement on the importance of democracy was made in the Senate and in the House of Commons to celebrate the second International Day of Democracy.
ChileThe Chamber of Deputies’ radio station will air jingles to mark the International Day of Democracy. These will serve to recall the significance, pillars and values of democracy as well as the role and history of the IPU.
ColombiaThe Senate will organize on 15 September an event closely linked to democracy, in the form of the National Anti-Corruption Day. On that occasion, two awards will be given: the Luis Carlos Galán anti-corruption Medal and the Pedro Pascasio Martínez republican ethic Medal.
CroatiaOn 15 September, Croatian Parliament is organizing a roundtable discussion on "Democracy and Political Tolerance". It will be live broadcasted on Parliamentary TV Channel, on all major Croatian cable networks as well as on the official web site of Croatian Parliament.
Czech RepublicThe second International Day of Democracy will be commemorated in the context of two important dates for the Czech Republic: the celebrations of 28 October (the National Day of Czech Republic) and 17 November (20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution).On those occasions, the Parliamentary Institute of the Chamber of Deputies is preparing a series of seminars for both students and teachers on the topic of the history and development of Czech parliamentarianism.
EgyptThe General Committee of the People’s Assembly issued a statement on the occasion of the International Day of Democracy.
EthiopiaThe House of Federation of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in collaboration with the House of People's Representatives conducted a three day event as part of celebrations marking the second International Day of Democracy (13-15 September). About 180 participants representing Federal and Regional Governments, Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa City Administrations, political parties, public and private media agencies and civic organizations took part to this event that provided took stock of the democratization process in Ethiopia. This event secured extensive media coverage in newspapers, radio and television channels. In addition, the national television channel broadcast a special 10 minute programme on the event marking the International Day of Democracy on 17 September.
FinlandThe Finnish Parliament is organizing a day of Open Doors to mark the International Day of Democracy 2009.
GeorgiaThe Parliament organized a students' photo exhibition, featuring photos by the students of the Georgian State Academy of Art, the Georgian State Theatrical University and the Georgian Institute for Public Administration. The exhibition was entitled “Democracy in Students’ Outlook” and illustrated diverse views on democracy.
GreeceFor all Primary and Secondary schools, a drawing contest on Democracy and an essay writing on the subject: "The quality of Democracy is enhanced by free speech for all citizens and by encouraging a culture of tolerance. It is up to the democratic institutions, among which the Parliament is of paramount importance, to mitigate tensions resulting from divergence" have been organized. More than 180'000 schoolchildren are expected to participate.
HungaryOn the initiative of the President of the Hungarian IPU Group, the Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly delivered a speech on the significance of the International Day of Democracy during the plenary session of the parliament on 14 September and, on that occasion, the parliament commemorated the parliamentary resolution of the House adopted a year ago.The National Assembly library circulated also a selection of documents in connection with the topic of Democracy among the parliamentarians.
IndiaThe Lok Sabha Television (LSTV), the satellite TV channel that broadcasts the proceedings of the lower House of the Parliament, will hold a special edition of the discussion programme ‘Public Form’ on the occasion of the International Day of Democracy.
IndonesiaThe House of Representatives will organize a briefing for one hundred high school students on parliamentary processes and the principles of democracy. This will be followed by a simulation of a working meeting of a parliamentary committee. A talk show will take place on national television on 15 September on the theme of political tolerance and the implementation of democracy.
LatviaThe celebration of the International Day of Democracy in Latvia is closely related to the celebration of the 91st anniversary of the Republic of Latvia (on 18 November 2008). End of September, Saeima (Parliament) will organize an open-house day. Visitors will have an opportunity to see rooms in which meetings are held with heads of other parliaments, states and governments, as well as ambassadors, and other top officials. Members of the Latvian national group at the Inter-Parliamentary Union will tell visitors about Inter-Parliamentary Union and its functions.
LebanonThe Lebanese Parliament, in collaboration with the UNDP, is organizing a day of Open Doors with presentations, guided tours and meetings with MP's.
LuxembourgAn exhibition entitled “The Chamber of Deputies, the story of an evolving institution” took place from 1 July to 30 September. Parliament will take part in an ‘Open doors’ days for public institutions in Luxemburg in Autumn 2009.
MexicoA round table discussion will be held on 14 September and will be aired on 15 September on the parliamentary channel.Special mention will be made of the International Day of Democracy during the plenary sitting of 15 September and competent services will be invited to devise programmes for organizing democracy-awareness days in primary and secondary schools. The Senate has posted a notice about the Day on its website and commemorative posters have been placed in public places.
MongoliaThe State Great Hural (Parliament) of Mongolia organized a debate among youth organizations on the general theme of: "Democracy and political tolerance and Democracy in Mongolia - future directions". This event was covered by leading press and media representatives and the proceedings will be posted on the Parliament’s website and distributed to MPs. Participants have agreed to set up a working group and produce a draft plan of activities for the celebration of the International Day of Democracy in 2010.
NamibiaNamibia will celebrate the International Day of Democracy on 15 September in the Parliament gardens. The theme of this year is "Democracy and political tolerance".On 15 September, there will also be a live interview on the National Broadcaster's "Good Morning Namibia Show" on the importance of the International Day of Democracy.Finally there will be a press release telling the public about the celebrations. Information material on the importance of the day will be displayed at the Parliament and key government offices. The programme will be coloured by the army band and cultural performances.
NepalThe Nepalese Parliament will organize the first national conference on the occasion of the International Day of Democracy. The theme is Political Tolerance.
PalauOn July 28 2009, the House of Delegates unanimously voted a House Joint Resolution to declare 15 September 2009 as the International Day of Democracy within the Republic of Palau. The resolution encourages the people of Palau to reflect on the meaning of democracy on this day, and for schools throughout Palau to engage in public debate regarding the meaning and future of democracy in Palau.
PhilippinesThe Senate will organize a number of activities, including passing a Resolution to commemorate the International Day of Democracy; a Privilege Speech by a Senator on the theme ”Democracy and Political Tolerance”; a debate contest among four public universities on topics related to the promotion of democracy, protection of its institutions and engaging citizens in the democratic process; and a photo exhibit depicting the workings of democracy and how its affects the lives of citizens.
Republic of KoreaOn 15 September, the Speaker of the National Assembly made a statement celebrating the International Day of Democracy.In this statement, he retraced the history of democracy in the Republic of Korea and emphasized the efforts of the National Assembly as the representative organization of the people to re-establish the principles and rules of democracy. He also stated the meaning of "Democracy and Political Tolerance", this year's theme of the International Day and called upon the ruling and the opposition parties to work towards reconciliation and mutual understanding.
RomaniaThe Senate of Romania will celebrate the International Day of Democracy 2009 as follow:
  • On 16 September, a speech on the significance of the Day will be delivered in the plenum of the Senate by a representative of the Executive Bureau of the Romanian IPU Group.
  • A special section on the Senate's website with links to relevant websites, documents and publications has been created.
  • The IPU's brochure on IDD 2009 and other IPU and UN documents will be distributed next week to groups of young people visiting the Senate.
SerbiaThe National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia has posted on its website a text entitled "Democracy". The Parliament has also made an appeal to all media (electronic and other) to devote special segments of their programmes on 15 September to commemoration of the International Day and to pay tribute to the values of democracy across the world.
SwitzerlandThe Speaker of the National Council and the Speaker of the Council of States will both issue a statement on the International Day of Democracy on 15 September.
Thailand An exhibition with the theme of “Democracy and Political Tolerance” commemorating the International Day of Democracy was held together with the “14 October” exhibition commemorating Thai Democracy Day which began in 2003. The special website was created to publicize the event.
The former Yugoslav Republic of MacedoniaTo mark the International Day of Democracy, parliament organized "the Day of Open Parliament" in cooperation with the NGO "Most". This event, which included a round table on "Increased participation of the civic sector in the legislative and control role of the Assembly", attracted the interest of over 1'100 children, young people and citizens that visited the assembly.
United Arab EmiratesTo celebrate the International Day of Democracy, the Federal National Council issued a statement that underlined the importance of democracy and highlighted the challenges it faces and the opportunities it offers.The Speaker and other members of the Federal National Council also participated in seminars promoting democracy and raising awareness concerning democracy in the country.
UruguayOn 15 September both Houses of Parliament will separately hold an extraordinary session to mark the International Day of Democracy. The House of Representatives will pass the bill presented by the Senate, thereby officializing celebration of the Day nationally. A postal stamp highlighting the Day will be unveiled by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. A national exhibition of visual arts to illustrate the theme of democracy and an essay competition on the theme will be launched next year.
ZambiaNinety-eight participants from different youth organisations in Zambia participated in a National Youth Parliament session organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union Zambia National Group. The event was launched by the Hon. Mr. Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia. The representatives of the National Youth Parliament shared the resolutions and issues raised during the session with the Committee that deals with issues of governance.
Events at the United Nations
UNDPThe Director of UNDP’s Democratic Governance Group, Ms. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, has written to encourage all UNDP country offices, along with UNDP’s national counterparts and stakeholders, to “commemorate the 2009 International Day of Democracy, highlighting its true significance to generate public awareness and deepen commitment to democracy and fundamental rights”.
African Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET)FEMNET has produced a pamphlet that provides basic information about the International Day of Democracy and emphasises how important and urgent the promotion of Democracy in Africa is.
Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, CanadaThroughout the month of September, there will be a display in the central Rotunda of the Parliament Buildings in Victoria. In addition to the IPU posters and brochures, there will also be information about democracy in British Columbia and Canada. The Legislative Assembly will also be working with Elections BC, a non-partisan body responsible for voting in the province, to launch a Democracy Day You Tube contest for students from all 2,000 schools across British Columbia.
The Carter CenterIn celebration of the second annual International Day of Democracy, former US President Carter and The Carter Center issued a press release calling upon citizens around the globe to recommit themselves to the principles of democracy.
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)The Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly intends to issue a statement on the subject of democracy and political tolerance on the occasion of its meeting in Paris on 7 September.