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Young people should be offered involvement in responsible and challenging actions that meet genuine needs. They should have the opportunity to participate in planning and decision-making. International Day of Democracy is an ideal time to consider how youth engagement with traditional democratic institutions can be increased. The International Day of Democracy is celebrated each year on 15th of September with an aim to providing an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. Democracy is as much a process as a goal, and only with the full participation of and support by the international community, national governing bodies, civil society and individuals, can the ideal of democracy be made into a reality to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.

This year’s theme is Democracy and Conflict Prevention which focuses on the critical need to strengthen democratic institutions to promote peace and stability. A more integrated approach to foster resilient society’s calls for effective and inclusive democratic governance with respect for human rights and the rule of law. Resilient societies are able to mitigate disputes through mediation, dialogue and a reasonable degree of legitimacy of their institutions. Developing effective conflict prevention mechanisms and infrastructures provides a foundation to resolve grievances and sustain peace. Processes, such as peace agreements, elections and constitutional reforms, can help maintain equilibrium between competing interests and reduce fragility and the likelihood of organized violence.

We, at the World Assembly of Youth, believe that meaningful democracy requires the meaningful participation of youth.Young people have much to offer societies from innovation to creativity to new thinking. Their participation in democracy promotes active citizenship, strengthens social responsibility and can enhance democratic processes and institutions. And today’s young citizens are tomorrow’s leaders and decision-makers. As our contribution in observing the International Day of Democracy, we, at WAY, seek to participate in promoting democracy in every way possible by having a sense of responsibility, especially towards the youth, that is to protect their rights and ensure that their voices are heard. Since our establishment, we have recognized and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in both our internal and external activities, including discussions, dialogues, and workshops with the aims of supporting and endorsing youth’s participation in the communities.

Yet young people’s engagement with democracy faces significant challenges threatening the future of healthy democracies. On this day, we would like to reiterate our call to all young people to be responsibly courageous in speaking up their thought and opinion, to contribute in making betterment and positive changes for better world of tomorrow.

World Assembly of Youth wishes you a Happy International Day of Democracy!