Kuwait celebrates 6th International Day for Democracy

15 Sep 2013

Today, the world celebrates the 6th International Day for Democracy under the slogan “Strengthening Voices for Democracy.” On November 2007, the General Assembly proclaimed 15 September as the International Day of Democracy. This day provides an opportunity to highlight the centrality of this universal core value and to review the state of democracy in the world. Democracy is as much a process as a goal, and only with the full participation of and support by the international community, national governing bodies, civil society and individuals, can the ideal of democracy will be realized.

Democracy is one of the universal and indivisible core values and principles of the United Nations. It is based on the freely expressed will of people and closely linked to the rule of law and exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The opening words of the United Nations Charter, “We the Peoples”, reflect the fundamental principle of democracy, that the will of the people is the source of legitimacy of sovereign states and therefore of the United Nations.

United Nations activities in support of democracy and governance are implemented through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), among others.

The political work of the United Nations requires that it promote democratic outcomes; the development agencies seek to bolster national institutions like parliaments, electoral commissions and legal systems that form the bedrock of any democracy; and the human rights efforts to support freedom of expression and association, participation and the rule of law, all of which are critical components of democracy.

In order to achieve these goals the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) seek to address challenges of democracy deficits, through their advisory services and technical cooperation programmes. These focus on strengthening the legal framework for human rights promotion and protection (institutional and legal reform); capacity building; empowering vulnerable and disadvantaged segments of society; advocacy, awareness raising and human rights education.

Democratic governance, as supported by the United Nations, emphasizes the role of individuals and peoples —without any exclusion — in shaping their human growth and the human development of societies. In 2011, UNDP helped more than 130 countries and devoted US$1.5 billion in resources to democratic governance, making UNDP the world's largest provider of democratic governance assistance, aiming to build effective and capable states that are accountable and transparent, inclusive and responsive.

Within this framework, UNDP Kuwait, in partnership with the General Secretariat for Supreme Council of Planning and Development and the General Secretariat of the National Assembly, started implementing the third phase of a project to upgrade the skills and capacity of the National Assembly in Kuwait. The project aims to develop the institutional capacities that allow the parliament to fully and effectively perform its constitutional mandate.

To commemorate the 6th International Day for Democracy, UNDP Kuwait and Kuwait Graduate Society will be organizing a round table discussion on “The Role of SCOs in enhancing Citizens’ democratic Political Participation”.

Speakers include Mr. Mubarak AlAdwani, UNDP-Kuwait ARR; Dr. Ali AlZouabi, Head of the Social Science Department at Kuwait University; Miss. Esraa AlAmiri, CEDAW Expert and Human Line Organization board member; Mrs. Shaikha Aljulaibi, head of the cultural commity- Kuwait bar association. The round table will take place at the Kuwait Graduate Association, on Sunday 15/9/2013, at PM 7:00.