Let’s celebrate: International Day of Democracy 2021

Let’s review the state of democracy in the world together as we commemorate the International Day of Democracy.

Free movement

International Day of Democracy was first observed by the United Nations in 2007 and commemorated the principles of democracy. The UN encourages countries to adopt or maintain systems of democratic government. Today, the day is observed by all UN Member States. The goal is to promote the government’s role in maintaining open democracy among all member nations of the UN. 

The link between democracy and human rights is captured in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and it states in Article 21(3):
“The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”


This year, the European Partnership for Democracy initiated Democracy Week, in celebration of International Day of Democracy.


Last year’s theme was Democracy Day in the Time of the Pandemic: A Sustainable Response to the Global Crisis based on Multilateralism and the Rule of Law.

September 15

International Day of Democracy is celebrated annually on the 15th of September.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Since 1988, the UN General assembly has included a minimum of one resolution annually regarding democracy. In 2015, world leaders together committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, for a world in which “democracy, good governance and the rule of law as well as an enabling environment at national and international levels, are essential for sustainable development”.

The SDG Summit in September 2019 called for a Decade of Action. World leaders at the Summit pledged to enhance national implementation and strengthen institutions to achieve these goals by the target date of 2030, leaving no one behind. 

We have just under ten years left to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. The International Day of Democracy marks the moment to reflect and look at the tasks ahead together.