In 2007 the United Nations General Assembly resolved to observe 15 September as the International Day of Democracy—with the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy—and invited all member states and organizations to commemorate the day in an appropriate manner that contributes to raising public awareness.
…while democracies share common features, there is no single model of democracy and that democracy does not belong to any country or region… …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.
In September 1997 the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) adopted a Universal Declaration on Democracy. That Declaration affirms the principles of democracy, the elements and exercise of democratic government, and the international scope of democracy.
The international conferences on new and restored democracies (ICNRD process) began in 1988 under the initiative of President Corazon C. Aquino of the Philippines after the so-called peaceful “People Power Revolution” overthrew the 20-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. Initially an inter-governmental forum, the ICNRD process developed into a tripartite structure with participation of governments, parliaments and civil society. The sixth conference (ICNRD-6) that took place in Doha, Qatar, in 2006 reinforced the tripartite nature of the process and concluded with a declaration and Plan of Action which reaffirmed the fundamental principles and values of democracy.
Following up on the outcome of ICNRD-6, an advisory board set up by the chair of the process, Qatar, decided to promote an International Day of Democracy. Qatar took the lead in drafting the text of a United Nations General Assembly resolution and convened consultations with UN member states. At the suggestion of the IPU, on 15 September (date of the Universal Declaration on Democracy) was chosen as the day when the international community would celebrate each year the International Day of Democracy. The resolution, titled “Support by the United Nations system of efforts of Governments to promote and consolidate new or restored democracies,” was adopted by consensus on 8 November 2007.