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15th September is the International Day of Democracy

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/14/2021 2:30:03 PM IST

 Strengthening democratic resilience in the face of future crises

Democracy is a common word in India as we are the largest democracy in the world. It is a form of government in which the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation or to choose governing people. The idea of democracy has evolved over time considerably and is being practiced in most of the countries in different forms. It is a universally recognized ideal and is one of the core values and principles of the United Nations and many other countries like India. It provides an environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights.  It provides opportunity for good governance and participation of citizens though the true spirit is not seen as many things are misused by people with their own vested interest.
The unprecedented COVID-19 crisis has resulted in major social, political and legal challenges globally. As states around the world adopt emergency measures to address the crisis, it is critical that they continue to uphold the rule of law, protect and respect international standards and basic principles of legality, and the right to access justice, remedies and due process.
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. These values are embodied 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 International Day of Democracy which is observed on 15th September 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.
António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN in his message said that “as the world struggles to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating consequences, we must learn from the lessons of the past 18 months to strengthen democratic resilience in the face of future crises. This means identifying and developing good governance practices in situations of emergency – whether public health, environmental or financial. It means addressing the egregious global injustices laid bare by the crisis, from pervasive gender inequalities and inadequate health systems to unequal access to vaccines, education, the internet and online services. Along with the profound human toll borne by those most deprived, these persistent historical inequalities are themselves threats to democracy.”
He also said that “strengthening democracy also means embracing genuine participation in decision-making -- including peaceful protests -- giving a real voice to people and communities that have traditionally been excluded. The silencing of women, religious and ethnic minorities, indigenous communities, people with disabilities, human rights defenders and journalists is an impediment to creating healthy societies. Democracy simply cannot survive, let alone flourish, in the absence of civic space.”
On this international day, as we look beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, let us commit to a future in which we recognize human rights and the rule of law as fundamental to democracy. We can commit to safeguarding the principles of equality, participation and solidarity so that human rights of each and everyone are upheld. Together we can do a lot to make democracy a fact and not farce.
Ranjan K Baruah
(With direct inputs from UN publication and feedback may be sent to bkranjan@gmail.com)

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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