Building peace in the minds of men and women

International Day of Democracy

15 September

The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity 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 be made into a reality to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.

The values of freedom, respect for human rights and the principle of holding periodic and genuine elections by universal suffrage are essential elements of democracy.  In turn, democracy provides the natural environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights.

At each of the key moments that have marked contemporary history, UNESCO has supported the peaceful development of societies by contributing to the construction and consolidation of democracy, and the development of democratic institutions, especially in times of transition.
Read less

Since its foundation, the Organization seeks to promote the aspirations of all people, especially young women and men, to strive for the realization of shared universal values, such as tolerance, pluralism, the respect of human rights, freedom and dialogue.

Message from the Director-General

"One of the defining features of the democratic spirit is the belief that more is obtained through dialogue, consultation and mediation than through coercion and arbitrary practices: in short, the law must prevail over the use of force. The democratic ideal is inextricably linked to a commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflicts and an aspiration for peace. UNESCO bears this aspiration like a standard."
̶  Audrey Azoulay, Director-General

Download the full message in PDF format
English ǀ Français ǀ Español ǀ Русский ǀ العربية ǀ 中文