On 15 September, the IPU and parliaments around the world celebrate the International Day of Democracy, declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007.
In its resolution A/RES/62/7 establishing the International Day of Democracy, the United Nations noted that "while democracies share common features, there is no single model of democracy" and that "democracy does not belong to any country or region". The International Day of Democracy is meant both to celebrate democracy and to serve as a reminder that the need to promote and protect democracy is as urgent now as ever.
The choice of 15 September for the International Day of Democracy corresponds to the adoption in September 1997 by the IPU of a Universal Declaration on Democracy. That Declaration affirms the principles of democracy, the elements and exercise of democratic government, and the global scope of democracy.
Since the first International Day of Democracy was celebrated on 15 September 2008, the IPU and parliaments around the world have organized numerous special events, reaffirming parliament as the central institution of democracy.
The International Day of Democracy is an opportunity for parliaments to:
Emphasize the importance of democracy, what it involves, the challenges it faces as well as the opportunities it offers, and the central responsibility that all parliaments have as the key institution of democracy;
Examine and discuss how well parliament performs its democratic functions, possibly on the basis of a self-assessment, and identify what steps it may take to strengthen its effectiveness.
Promote dialogue with citizens, especially young people, and encourage their participation in political processes.