United Nations Adopts Democracy Education Resolution
November 30, 2012
On November 28, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution on democracy education drafted by CCD staff and the Community of Democracies (CD) member governments of Poland and Mongolia. The resolution did not require a vote and had the co-sponsorship of 40 governments, including: Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, United States of America and Uruguay, among others.
Mongolian Ambassador Suren Badral introduced the resolution to the Assembly. The UN Department of Public Information reported: “Citing the Secretary-General, he said that ‘developing a culture of democracy and fostering global citizenship’ are becoming two of the pressing priorities for the international community.’ Education for democracy worked toward those ends. The main outcome of the draft resolution would be the launch of a focused discussion on how to help educate peoples in the culture of peace and democracy; of tolerance of and respect for different civilizations and religions; and in upholding the values of freedom and human rights. Once adopted, the resolution would “contribute to fostering global citizenship with all members equally playing a pro-active role and globally sharing their own national best practices in education for democracy through [a] common platform,” he said in closing.” However, the process through which the resolution was drafted encountered challenges. According to Badral, the final text of the resolution on education for democracy had to be read with a degree of “flexibility”: “[w]e have substantially cut down our initial ambitions in order to accommodate the interests of all.”
CCD President Bob LaGamma commented on the historic resolution: “It is a milestone to have the United Nations, a universal body, support the idea that people everywhere should be informed of their rights as citizens and encouraged to play an active role in the political processes of their countries and their communities in the spirit of the Warsaw Declaration. As I see it, the logic of this action is that the United Nations has taken another step toward associating itself with the idea that all the world’s people have a right to democratic governance. By adopting the resolution the world body takes on a responsibility for supporting and monitoring activities designed to advance teaching about democracy worldwide.” He also thanked the governments of Mongolia and Poland for spearheading the process of pushing the resolution through the UNGA and Ambassador Badral and Powel Radomski of Poland for their efforts.
The resolution on education for democracy calls on UN member states to recognize that democracy, as a universal value, should be a component of citizens’ education. It “[r]eaffirms the fundamental link between democratic governance, peace, development and the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, which are interdependent and mutually reinforcing” and recognizes the support of democracy education by the Secretary-General as the theme of the International Day of Democracy in 2012.
To read the resolution on education for democracy, please click here.
To read the CCD press release on the resolution, please click here.
United Nations Department of Public Information - Assembly Also Adopts New Text on Education for Democracy