The United Nations (UN) has praised Ghana’s effort to uphold democracy one the eve of the commemoration of International Day of Democracy. The UN extended compliments to the government and people of Ghana for upholding and sustaining democracy, particularly in the past year, and urges efforts to reduce apathy.
The UN General Assembly sets aside September 15 each year to be observed as the International Day of Democracy. This is to encourage governments to strengthen national programmes devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy. The Day is marked 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.
Mr Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General said in a statement to commemorate the day: “Despite advances in civic engagement, apathy has become democracy’s most insidious enemy in a growing number of societies.”
He proposed that apathy could be overcome through inclusive participation.
“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, which include clarifying roles between and among the arms of government and governance institutions, increasing resources for key government and independent government institutions, and deepening opportunities for effective citizen’s engagement. Also increasing the participation of women, youth and other marginalized groups in decision-making processes; strengthening capacity at local governance levels; and reducing the perception of corruption in the public sector.” He stated.
This year’s International Day of Democracy is themed “Strengthening Voices for Democracy” Mr Ban Ki- Moon and the UN urges leaders to “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.” He added that in doing so, there is an assurance that Ghana’s democratic growth would be sustained.