International Democracy Day 2019 calls for increased participation in democracy and tasks governments and parliaments with finding global solutions 

"As we mark Democracy Day, I urge all governments to respect the right to active, substantive and meaningful participation; and I salute all of you who strive tirelessly to make this happen." — United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres.

In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly reaffirmed the Universal Declaration on Democracy by instituting the International Day of Democracy on 15 September each year.

The United Nations theme for International Day of Democracy 2019 is: Participation. This year's International Day of Democracy is an opportunity to recall that democracy is about people. Democracy is built on inclusion, equal treatment and participation — and it is a fundamental building block for peace, sustainable development and human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that "the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government" (article 21.3), has inspired constitution-making around the world and contributed to global acceptance of democratic values and principles. Democracy, in turn, provides the natural environment for the protection and effective realisation of human rights.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) network is marking this special day and many of its 180 Branches in Parliaments and Legislatures across the Commonwealth are celebrating International Day of Democracy with different events and activities. The CPA connects and supports Commonwealth Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance to promote democracy and offers its membership a range of opportunities to enhance their parliamentary knowledge and networking. It provides both established and newly elected Parliamentarians and Parliamentary staff with continuing professional development and encourages them to share experiences and knowledge with other Parliaments in the wider pursuit of democracy in the Commonwealth. As in previous years, the CPA is also supporting the IPU’s #StrongerDemocracies campaign and online petition.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development addresses democracy in Sustainable Development Goal 16 recognising the indivisible links between peaceful societies and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions. The CPA’s Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures have been highlighted as an important tool in the pursuit of achieving ‘peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development’ outlined in Sustainable Development Goal 16.

Over 500 Commonwealth Parliamentarians will also be attending one of their largest annual gatherings at the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) in September 2019, due to be hosted by the CPA Uganda Branch and the Parliament of Uganda which provides the opportunity for the CPA’s global membership to come together to address the critical issues facing today’s Parliaments.

For more information on International Day of Democracy please click here.


Updated 13 September 2019.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. 
For further information about the CPA, please contact:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
CPA Headquarters Secretariat
T: +44 (0)20 7799 1460
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