Arab Non- Violence Society Observed International Day of Democracy

Foreign Affairs Advisor of the Arab Non- Violence Society Dr. Naseer Homoud's message on International Day of Democracy. He hoped that world leaders will continue to place democracy and good governance at the forefront of their efforts as countries worldwide strive to meet the MDGs by the target date of 2015.

  • (1888PressRelease) September 15, 2011 - Observing International Day of Democracy Dr. Naseer Homoud, Foreign Affairs Advisor of Arab Non- Violence Society and Honorary Member of Arab Youth Media Forum said "I am pleased to learn that the International Day of Democracy is being observed throughout the world today under the auspices of the United Nations to assess the state of democracy around the world and to reinforce commitment to democratic ideals. I hope that observance of the International Democracy Day will lend strength to the pro-democracy forces throughout the world and discourage potential dictators from curbing the aspirations of the people through political adventurism."

    Speaking on the occasion Dr. Homoud said "democracy is a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems, and their full participation in all aspects of life and it should be protected under any turn of events". He further extended his greetings on democracy day by asserting "Arab Non- Violence Society congratulates all Member States of the United Nations and organizations of its system, regional and intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and individuals on the occasion of the International Day of Democracy and calls on them to observe and celebrate it. The purpose of global Democracy Day is to raise public awareness on core democratic values, and the state of democracy worldwide, promote dialogue and tolerance".

    Addressing the gathering to mark the day Dr. Homoud reiterated that democracy is a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives. Democracy, peace and security, development and human rights are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. "It is essential that civil society organizations take responsibility and action to influence the agenda of the International Day of Democracy, making sure that the debate reflects issues relevant to various parts of population, including the marginalized and poor people", he asserted.

    Dr. Homoud urged world community to work towards building a stronger partnership between civil society, governments and the private sector which are the key components of a democracy." He said that in vibrant democracies throughout the world, businesses and civil society groups are stimulating growth and expanding opportunities.

    Speaking on the occasion to mark this Day Dr. Homoud said "on this day I propose to governments, media, businesses, religious groups, academics and other civil society actors to promote a profound and inclusive discussion about the ways to achieve a total adherence to democratic ideals". He urged that governments be chosen in free and fair elections, without manipulation, through transparent voting systems, with technical credibility and proven mechanisms of political participation based on law and international standards. He further advocated respect for freedom of the press and the right to transmit and receive information without prior censorship. He appealed governments to create or improve legislation on access to public information as a fundamental right of an active and participatory citizenship.

    "The principle of democracy is universally recognized. The right of all people to freely choose their Government, enshrined in Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is not peculiar to any culture. One of the main challenges to humankind in the new century is to make the practice of democracy equally universal. Nations of well-established democracy ought to exchange experiences and deeper knowledge with those where democracy is still emerging", said Dr. Homoud.

    Dr. Homoud said democracy, rule of law and respect to human rights is must to achieve United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He said that human rights, good governance and democracy were interlinked to each other and that rule of law and right to development were also fundamental rights which could not be ignored. He further maintained that democracy is based on the participation of all in the management of public affairs. "Like every public endeavor, national development cannot therefore be the task of a single individual, nor can it be left solely in the hands of the government. It requires the involvement of all stakeholders - government, parliament and parliamentarians, political parties, and civil society. The diversity and inclusiveness of the policy process that is inherent in every democracy, undoubtedly enriches development outcomes", said Dr. Homoud.

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