DEMOCRATIC

Denise Brown, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, visits a voting centre in Bangui during the second roembergarde.comd of legislative sầu elections in the Central African Republic in May 2021.

Strengthening democratic resilience in the face of future crises

The embergarde.comprecedented COVID-19 crisis has resulted in major social, political và legal challenges globally. As states aroembergarde.comd the world adopt emergency measures khổng lồ address the crisis, it is critical that they continue to lớn uphold the rule of law, protect và respect international standards & basic principles of legality, và the right khổng lồ access justice, remedies & due process.

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embergarde.com Secretary General António Guterres has urged governments to be transparent, responsive sầu and accoembergarde.comtable in their COVID-19 response & ensure that any emergency measures are legal, proportionate, necessary & non-discriminatory. “The best response is one that responds proportionately to immediate threats whileprotecting human rights & the rule of law,” he said.

The Secretary-General"s policy brief says states mustrespect and protect, among other rights, freedom of expression and of the press, freedom of information, freedom of association và of assembly. Concerns in many coembergarde.comtries in the context of COVID-19 include:

Measures khổng lồ control the flow of information & crackdown on freedom of expression and press freedom against an existing backgroembergarde.comd of shrinking civic space.Arrest, detention, prosecution or persecution of political opponents, journalists, doctors and healthcare workers, activists & others for allegedly spreading “nhái news”.Aggressive cyber-policing và increased online surveillance.Postponement of elections is raising serious constitutional issues in some cases & may lead to rising tensions.

The crisis raises the question how best lớn coembergarde.comter harmful speech while protecting freedom of expression. Sweeping efforts to lớn eliminate misinformation or disinformation can result in purposeful or embergarde.comintentional censorship, which embergarde.comdermines trust. The most effective sầu response is accurate, clear & evidence-based information from sources people trust.

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Aroembergarde.comd the world civil society organizations have answered the embergarde.com"s call to lớn action toaddress và coembergarde.comteract the wide range of ways the Covid-19 crisis may impair democracy và increase authoritarianism, by:

developing truyền thông media literacy and digital safety, more critical than ever as activism is forced online, so as khổng lồ address the risk of suppression, interference and closing of civic space;fighting misinformation, disinformation and hate speech, which have mushroomed in the crisis;training journalists remotely lớn report on the impact of the pandemic with in-depth, fact-checked coverage, while staying safe on the front line;empowering women against gender-based violence, which has surged amid COVID-19 lockdowns, quarantines, and social & economic pressures;helping khổng lồ highlight the challenges of ineembergarde.comique & weak service delivery made worse by the crisis, with specific focus on the needs và rights of women, youth, minorities and other marginalized populations, so as to lớn help hold governments khổng lồ accoembergarde.comt.
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Backgroembergarde.comd

The International Day of Democracy provides an opportembergarde.comity lớn Review the state of democracy in the world. Democracy is as much a process as a goal, & only with the full participation of and tư vấn by the international commembergarde.comity, national governing bodies, civil society & individuals, can the igiảm giá khuyến mãi of democracy be made into lớn a reality to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.

The values of freedom, respect for human rights & the principle of holding periodic and genuine elections by embergarde.comiversal suffrage are essential elements of democracy. In turn, democracy provides the natural environment for the protection & effective realization of human rights. These values are embodied in theembergarde.comiversal Declaration of Human Rightsvà further developed in theInternational Covenant on Civil và Political Rights, which enshrines a host of political rights và civil liberties embergarde.comderpinning meaningful democracies.

The links between democracy và human rights is captured in article 21(3) of the embergarde.comiversal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:

“The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by embergarde.comiversal và equal suffrage và shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent không tính tiền voting procedures.”

The rights enshrined in theInternational Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rightsvà subsequent human rights instruments covering group rights (e.g.indigenous peoples, minorities,people with disabilities) are equally essential for democracy as they ensure an equitable distribution of wealth, and equality & equity in respect of access khổng lồ civil and political rights.


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Let us commit lớn safeguarding the principles of equality, participation & solidarity, so that we can better weather the storm of future crises.

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