Conflict prevention for the International Day of Democracy

When it comes to democratic values, prevention has a clear role to play in promoting peace and stability in both the online and offline world. As reflected in our 2016 celebration article, the International Day of Democracy has been celebrated annually on 15 September since 2007 when the United Nations General Assembly set this date aiming to promote and uphold the principles of democracy.

Fundamental values, the respect for human rights and genuine elections in universal suffrage are intrinsic aspects of democracy, as encompassed "in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and further developed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which enshrines a host of political rights and civil liberties underpinning meaningful democracies". The 2017 theme focuses on democracy and conflict prevention, and on the critical need to strengthen democratic institutions to promote peace and stability. According to the UN, "a more integrated approach to foster resilient societies calls for effective and inclusive democratic governance with respect for human rights and the rule of law. Developing effective conflict prevention mechanisms and infrastructures provides a foundation to resolve grievances and sustain peace".

The main UN events taking place on 15 September 2017 to celebrate the day are being organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and will highlight the Union's Universal Declaration on Democracy as an international standard to guide governments, parliaments and citizens through today's many challenges to democracy around the world. It will explore the tension within various relativist notions of democracy while discussing concrete ways to support democracy as a concept that all people everywhere can appropriate as theirs.

For the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) line of work, the International Day of Democracy is aligned with its values, especially considering this year's theme of conflict prevention online. Fighting hate speech and radicalisation online has been a priority for many Safer Internet Centres (SICs) within the Insafe network and examples include:

In addition, during the recent Better Internet for Kids MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on online safety, the final module of the course looked at topical issues related to hate speech and radicalisation. A brief summary of some of the key issues including definitions, educational responses, and counter-speech approaches is available here.

Follow the International Day of Democracy celebrations on social media using the #DemocracyDay hashtag, while further background information on the International Day of Democracy can be found on the United Nations website.

Related news

International Day of Democracy 2019 – Participation, inclusion, equal treatment

Sunday, 15 September 2019 marks the International Day of Democracy around the world. This 2019 edition focuses on participation – an occasion to take a closer look at young people and democratic participation in the digital age.

International Day of Democracy 2018: Democracy "under great strain" according to the UN

On Saturday, 15 September we will celebrate the International Day of Democracy. The 2018 editions' theme is "Democracy under Strain: Solutions for a Changing World".

Digital Citizenship Education

Building on the achievements of the Council of Europe's Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education (EDC/HRE) programme, and the initial results of the Competences for Democracy and Intercultural Dialogue project - as well as cooperation activities from other sectors - the CoE's Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice (CDPPE) has recently approved a pan-European project on Digital Citizenship Education (DCE).

Hate speech and radicalisation

An online safety MOOC has recently taken place on the European Schoolnet Academy, helping participants to gain a better understanding of the current risks and challenges that young people face when they go online. In the final module of the course, participants looked the topical issues of hate speech and radicalisation. Here, we provide a brief summary of some of the key issues including definitions, educational responses, and counter-speech approaches.

Celebrating the International Day of Democracy

"Let us rededicate ourselves to democracy and dignity for all" were words used by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on this International Day of Democracy, focusing on Democracy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

International Day of Democracy

  • News
  • 15/09/2015
  • BIK Youth

Today we celebrate the International Day of Democracy, recognising the important role of an engaged civil society in creating successful, stable democracies.