The General Assembly proclaimed 15 September as the International Day of Democracy. Respect is an opportunity to check the state of democracy in the world. It is only with the full support of the international community, national governing bodies, civil society and individuals that the ideal of democracy can be achieved for the benefit of all and everywhere. But in those years, something fundamental changed, something that changed the provisions of the treaty on democracy. Increasingly, bills came to Parliament to vote on a “closed rule,” leaving no chance of amending them. Instead of the participants in the legislative process creatively amending bills through amendments, we were asked to be distributors with “yes” or “no” stamps. The old treaty of democracy has been violated – and it is broken. Today, at this dark time of institutional discontent in the Assembly, I believe that we must re-establish the original Treaty of Democracy. We need to reform the Assembly, not only to “do something” but because a reformed house can create an institutional structure that can help a member of Congress better defend a limited government and the principle of accountability to the people. But even if we achieve these goals, they will do nothing to restore the treaty of democracy, unless what we do is guided by courtesy, mutual respect and a willingness to exchange views, not just insults. Perhaps nostalgia distorts my memory, but it seems to me that what might be described as a sense of public courtesy is not as evident in today`s political discourse as it has been in the past. Since 1988, the General Assembly has adopted at least one resolution each year dealing with certain aspects of democracy.
In 2015, in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, world leaders and heads of state pledged to create a world where “democracy, good governance and the rule of law, as well as a national and internationally favourable environment, are essential to sustainable development.” The Programme reaffirmed the commitments already made at the 2005 World Summit and the Millennium Declaration. Democracy needs women to be truly democratic and women need democracy if they want to change the systems and laws that exclude them. The role of women in democratic processes is highlighted in the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and in the 2011 General Assembly resolution on women`s political participation. Since its inception in 2006, the Human Rights Council (the Commission`s successor) has adopted several resolutions highlighting the mutually reinforcing interdependent links between democracy and human rights. Recent resolutions 19/36 and 28/14 on human rights, democracy and the rule of law are recent examples. For several years, the United Nations General Assembly and the former Commission on Human Rights have sought to use international human rights instruments to promote a common understanding of the principles and values of democracy.