Accra – On the occasion of the commemoration of International Day of Democracy, which falls on September 15, the UN System in country extends felicitations to the government and people of Ghana for upholding and sustaining democracy, particularly in the past year.
In his statement to commemorate the day, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon observed that “despite advances in civic engagement, apathy has become democracy’s most insidious enemy in a growing number of societies.”
He further proposed that apathy can be overcome through inclusive participation since “it prepares communities, societies and entire countries to address opposing points of view, forge compromises and solutions, and engage in constructive criticism and deliberations.”
It is in light of this that the UN System commends the people of Ghana for their enthusiasm and active engagement in their electoral process. In Africa, Ghana serves as a beacon of democracy as the country has enjoyed increasingly stable and deepening democratic governance over the last two decades.
Despite these gains, key democratic challenges. These include: clarifying roles between and among the arms of government and governance institutions; increasing resources for key government and independent government institutions; deepening opportunities for effective citizen’s engagement; increasing the participation of women, youth and other marginalised groups in decision-making processes; strengthening capacity at local governance levels; and reducing the perception of corruption in the public sector.
On this International Day of Democracy themed “Strengthening Voices for Democracy” we join the Secretary General in urging that leaders “hear, respect and respond appropriately to the voices of the people,” and for citizens to “use their voice to not only take control of their destiny, but to translate their desires and the desires of others into a better future for all.” In so doing, we are assured that Ghana’s democratic growth will be sustained.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly set aside the 15th September of each year to be observed as the International Day of Democracy to encourage governments to strengthen national programmes devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy. We mark the Day to promote free expression of the will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives.