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Parliaments must ensure that the voice of the people is taken into account when countries establish priorities, targets and indicators for the SDGs at the national level. Parliaments also have a crucial role to play in translating the sustainable development agenda into concrete national action — including by passing legislation, agreeing effective budgets and holding governments accountable for the commitments they have made. Although seems distant, it is only three electoral cycles away in many countries. For the International Day of Democracy, IPU is also urging a broader strengthening of democracy, and is encouraging parliaments to use the Day for bringing diverse voices into politics and engaging the general public.

Around the world, parliaments will mark the International Day of Democracy by engaging citizens in a debate on the future of democracy: Will people vote online in elections by , or crowdsource laws? Will the existing political processes be sufficient to enable young people to express their aspirations, or do new processes need to be invented? Will the role of parliament be the same as it is today? Political parties and parliaments continually adapt to changes in society. In particular, there is an urgent need to create political space for younger generations, to make more effective use of technology to foster inclusive debate, and to increase the proportion of women, young people and minorities in parliament and government worldwide.

All UN Member States adopted the Agenda for Sustainable Development — a global commitment to end poverty and set the world on a sustainable path — in September For more information, see www.


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Subscribe to our newsletter. Our impact. Our work. The IPU facilitates parliamentary diplomacy and empowers parliaments and parliamentarians to promote peace, democracy and sustainable development around the world.

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Read more. Strong parliaments. We help strengthen parliaments to make them more effective and representative. Gender equality. Human rights. We defend the human rights of parliamentarians and help them uphold the rights of all. We help parliaments fight terrorism, cyber warfare and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Parliamentary dialogue. Is democracy really in trouble, or do recent events simply signal a temporary downward fluctuation? Under what conditions is democracy resilient when challenged? What Is Democracy Today? International IDEA defines democracy as a political system that advances popular control and political equality.


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  • Democracy is a proven universal value for citizens all over the world and should be accepted as a globally owned concept for which there is no universally applicable model. Democracy comes in multiple forms, which are in constant evolution, with no endpoint. With emerging democracies backsliding into authoritarianism and others falling prey to populism, there has never been a more urgent need to assess the evolving state of democracy and its impact now, amid rapid global change.

    Why Democracy? Concern has grown from scholars and policymakers over the possible global decline of democracy worldwide Annan Although democracy is currently under threat, it remains an ideal and a best-possible governance system. Democratic values among citizens, and within institutions and processes at the national and international levels, have proven to be remarkably resilient in many ways.

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    Mass demonstrations against corruption took place in in Brazil, Romania, South Africa, the United States, and Venezuela; citizens have taken to the streets to reclaim democracy. Democracy reflects a core value enshrined in article 21 of the Universal. In Africa, democratization is evolving rapidly as a generation of leaders associated with independence is likely to be replaced soon by a new generation.

    For example, in Angola,. South Africa and Zimbabwe the strength of multiparty democracy will be tested for possible alternations in ruling regimes for the first time since independence. Uganda has tightly controlled elections, and opposition parties have been restricted or impeded. A conflict erupted in Burundi from through over a constitutional crisis, giving rise to an intractable political crisis; in and crises erupted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC , Gabon and Zimbabwe over executive manipulations to retain power beyond constitutional term limits.

    While there have been some improvements in personal security and integrity since the s and s, high levels of violations have persisted in the last 25 years despite the broader expansion of democracy in some countries. In such insecure environments, civil society, independent media, judges and prosecutors, and local government officials have all been targeted by criminal organizations and illicit networks. Civil society is often under pressure because of its success in mobilizing, organizing and holding governments to account. The 21st century offered promise as rapid technological innovations helped bring unparalleled development and continued gains in democracy, fundamental rights, and prosperity.

    Yet, today the world is fragmented, conflicted and under threat from global challenges such as climate change, migration and widening socioeconomic inequality—the effects of which undermine social cohesion, put peace at risk, and threaten to reverse hard-won 20th-century gains in all world regions. It is a tenuous moment for democracy. What challenges threaten democracy today? The Strains: Challenges affecting contemporary Democracies. Drivers of demographic, economic and social forces appear to be the root causes of authoritarian resurgence, contentious politics and democratic decline globally Human Rights Council Some observers link these trends to the regression of democracy: they contend that globalization processes have induced social exclusion and contention, which present new and fundamental challenges for democracy Munck In the post-globalization world of economic interdependence, these challenges interact with national and local contexts to produce localized social dislocation and grievances.

    Countries face tremendous pressure on governance in response to climate change and the effects of extreme weather events and natural disasters on land, water, biodiversity, and the oceans.

    Issues and Challenges of Democracy, Development and Security in Nigeria’s Context

    The Independent Commission on Multilateralism identified several challenges that governments and societies face, including environmental challenges stemming from climate change effects, social pressures from changing communities, economic issues such as youth unemployment, and management of natural resources and valuable commodities. Migration is a serious transnational challenge to democracy that has led to social polarization, xenophobia and anti-immigrant movements in many countries Piper and Rother While migration generally produces net positive economic effects for recipient societies.

    UNDP , migration and debates over immigration policy and responses have created new strains for many democracies. Among the most difficult and challenging global problems with local effects is ensuring security and combating terrorism; many governments justify restrictions of rights and freedoms with the need to prevent terrorism. Increasing terrorist attacks have had deleterious effects on democracy, most notably in relation to the restrictions on freedoms associated with responses to terrorist events Chenoweth ; Large Democracy reflects the fundamental ethical principles of human equality and the dignity of persons and is thus inseparable from human rights Beetham et al.

    Its core principles are manifested in different ways: the institutions, processes, and elements of democracy such as electoral systems or arrays of institutions have grown organically and uniquely in various countries Beetham et al. Youngs Countries that successfully transitioned from authoritarian rule or civil war to democracy in the period — did so through domestic or national processes of negotiation and reform, at times with support from the international community Stoner and McFaul ; Ould-Mohammedou and Sisk For example, United Nations envoys and country-level resident coordinators played pivotal supportive roles at key moments in the transition processes in Myanmar and Tunisia.

    In transitioning Nepal —11 and in Colombia following the Havana peace agreement, the UN fielded political missions supported the transition and the demobilization of rebels. Yet there is considerable consensus that successful transitions to democracy are internal processes. Democracy is generally considered to have consolidated when two conditions are met. First, citizens and political leaders believe it is the only legitimate way to claim political authority. Second, there is greater institutionalization: the rules of democracy that allow for the pursuit of its principles are further defined, refined in practice and adapted to changing social contexts.

    Diplomatic Channel: Review Of UN Secretary General's Visit To Nigeria -- 31/08/15 Pt 1

    Progress towards democracy during a transition is not linear or inevitable Carothers , and countries considered to be consolidated democracies can experience backsliding Lust and Waldner Reaffirming democracy. It is now vital to reaffirm democracy as a value system for governance and as a form of government. To eliminate de facto or de jure discrimination against women in order to improve their social standing and quality of life.

    To ensure appropriate reintegration of refugee, displaced and uprooted population groups in a safe and stable Central American environment so that they can enjoy all civil rights and improve their quality of life with equal opportunities. To incorporate the criteria of subsidiarity, community solidarity, shared responsibility and self-management in policies designed to alleviate poverty through development, community participation and economic and administrative decentralization and deconcentration of State structures.

    To accord priority to investment in the individual with the aim of achieving well-rounded human development.

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    To reinforce the development of national identity in a context of cultural and ethnic diversity. To coordinate and update environmental parameters, legislation and the competent domestic institutions.

    To enhance the capacity for the regulation, monitoring and implementation of environmental standards and the classification of environmental offences. To promote awareness and participation of society in environmental protection through the incorporation of environmental considerations in formal and informal education systems. To bring about a steady decline in the rate of deforestation and concurrently promote reafforestation and productive forestry activity at the regional level. To ensure proper management of water catchment areas in order to guarantee the availability of water resources for various uses in terms of quality and quantity.

    To promote the regional discussion of common policies on new environmentally friendly products, green labels and environmental impact studies. Compilation of documents or texts for promoting and consolidating democracy. Turn on more accessible mode. Turn off more accessible mode.

    Given the specific features and characteristics of the Central American region, the concept of sustainable development to which we subscribe is as follows: Sustainable development is a process of progressive change in the quality of life of the population, in which development will revolve around the human person, who will be its prime beneficiary; it will be accomplished through economic growth with social equity and the transformation of production methods and consumer patterns, and will be based on preserving the ecological balance and the region's life-giving resources. Respect for life in all its forms Improvement of the quality of human life Sustainable utilization and respect for the earth's vitality and diversity To that end, appropriate action will be taken to: a Preserve the systems that sustain life and the ecological processes that determine climate and air and water quality, regulate the flow of waters, recycle essential elements, create and generate soil and enable ecosystems to renew themselves; b Protect and conserve the biodiversity of all species of plants, animals and other organisms, of genetic stocks within each species and of the range of ecosystems; c Ensure the sustainable utilization of natural resources, especially the soil, wild and domesticated species, woodlands, cultivated land and marine and freshwater ecosystems.

    Promotion of peace and democracy as basic forms of human coexistence Respect for the multiculturalism and ethnic diversity of the region Achieving a greater degree of economic integration among the countries of the region with the rest of the world Intergenerational responsibility for sustainable development Democracy Social and cultural development The focus will be on: a Investment in human resources.

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    Project MUSE - Democracy, Good Governance and Development in Africa

    To that end, priority will be given to fundamental education, preventive health care, environmental sanitation and training and skills-building; b Implementation of programmes in support of families and vulnerable groups in order to foster the integrated development of children, adolescents, the elderly and women; c Improved access of low-income groups to social services and to the social and economic infrastructure; d Increased opportunities for access to employment, the objective being to establish conditions that will generate productive activities by easing credit for small- and medium-sized enterprises, providing technical assistance and improving economic opportunities for the neediest.

    Sustainable economic development Sustainable management of natural resources and improvement of environmental quality The general objectives of the Alliance are: a To turn the isthmus into a region of peace, freedom, democracy and development by promoting changes in individual and social attitudes conducive to the building of a model of sustainable development in the political, economic, social, cultural and environmental spheres within the framework of Agenda 21; b Sustainable integrated land management to ensure that the region's biodiversity is preserved for our benefit and for that of humankind; c To make the international community aware of the scope of the alliance and of the importance of and mutual benefit to be derived from support for this sustainable Central American model; d To promote conditions that permanently enhance society's capacity for and participation in improving the present and future quality of life; e These objectives are set out in an annex that forms an integral and inseparable part of the Alliance for Sustainable Development.

    National Council for Sustainable Development Central American Council for Sustainable Development Political aims 1. To support the peace and reconciliation processes in the countries of the region. To promote full enjoyment of human rights.