International Day of Democracy

International Day of Democracy

The International Day of Democracy is celebrated around the world on 15 September each year. It was established through a resolution passed by the UN General Assembly in 2007, encouraging governments to strengthen and consolidate democracy.

We encourage all our Member Parliaments to mark the day with events and celebrations. Since the day was first observed in 2008, hundreds of parliamentary events have been held worldwide. These have included photo competitions, workshops for children, live televised debates, radio phone-ins and meetings with civil society organizations.

The International Day is an opportunity to review the state of democracy around the world. Each year highlights a specific theme. In 2017, the International Day focused on the importance of strong democracies at a time when the core values of democratic governance are being called into question. The year 2017 also marked the 20th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Democracy, adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Council in 1997. Past themes have included the importance of democracy for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, strengthening the voices of citizens, dialogue and inclusiveness, accountability, and political tolerance.

Our support for International Democracy Day stems from our core belief that democracy requires the participation of all citizens. It is an opportunity to highlight the important role of parliaments, and to celebrate their capacity and mandate to deliver on justice, peace, development and human rights.

Our work on International Democracy Day is part of our efforts to build democracy.


The International Day of Democracy 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of IPU’s Universal Declaration on Democracy and the 10th anniversary of the International Day of Democracy. 
Since the International Day of Democracy was first observed in 2008, hundreds of parliamentary events have been held worldwide.