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International Democracy Day 2023 – Inclusive Democracy for Sustainable Development: Challenging Norms, Empowering Marginalized Communities

International IDEA and the Global Democracy Coalition invite you to the International Democracy Day 2023 – Inclusive Democracy for Sustainable Development: Challenging Norms, Empowering Marginalized Communities on 15 September, between 9:30 and 14:00 at the UN Conference Building and live streamed through UN WebTV.

Building upon the spirit of International Democracy Day and considering the inter-linkages between the United Nations and its Member States, civil society, and other stakeholders, this event seeks to deepen our understanding of the profound relationship between inclusive democracy, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the forthcoming SDG Summit. This discussion will explore the multidimensional nature of these relationships and recognize the pivotal role played by democratic governance, principles, and institutions as powerful drivers in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Throughout the event, we will delve into the intricate interplay between the role of the United Nations, inclusive democracy, social contracts, and the active participation of marginalized communities in democratic processes, all of which contribute to sustainable development. We recognize that social norms and contracts play a crucial role in shaping the opportunities and barriers faced by marginalized groups, influencing their engagement and contributions to democratic decision-making and the overall development agenda.

Full Agenda

Panel 1: Promoting Inclusive Democratic Processes and Citizen Participation for Peaceful and Just Societies (10:15 – 11:30)

This panel will explore the challenges faced by marginalized communities in accessing and participating in democratic processes, while highlighting strategies to address these barriers and foster inclusive democracy. It will examine the importance of gender equality (SDG 5), reduced inequalities (SDG 10), and peace, justice, and strong institutions (SDG 16) in shaping inclusive democratic processes. By examining these goals, the panel aims to deepen the understanding of how inclusive democracy can contribute to sustainable development and create a more equitable and just society.

Speakers                                                                                                                                                                                                Moussa Kondo, Executive Director, Sahel Institute (Moderator)                                                                  H.E. Ambassador Maritza Chan, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the UN  John Romano, Director, TAP Network                                                                                                                  Regina Waugh, Senior Global Gender Advisor, IFES                                                                                  Emilia Saiz Carrancedo, Secretary-General, UCLG

Panel 2: Overcoming Barriers and Amplifying Marginalized Voices in Democracy (11:30-12:45)

In our evolving global landscape, the influence of social norms on both democratic institutions and sustainable advancement remains undeniable. These unwritten societal rules often serve as either catalysts or barriers to the aims of key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A closer look at these norms, especially in the context of SDGs like Goal 5 (Gender Equality), Goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities), and Goal 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions), is crucial. Through this lens, we can better cultivate a global democracy that’s genuinely inclusive and set the stage for enduring growth. This panel aims to spotlight these norms, challenge their continued relevance, and strive for a future where every voice resonates, and every community thrives. The panel with be introduced by Pia Wanek, CEO at DT Institute.

Speakers                                                                                                                                                                                            Vukasin Petrovic, Vice-President, DT Institute (Moderator)                                                                        Nancy Okail, President and CEO, Center for International Policy                                                                  Ivan Marovic, Executive Director, International Center on Non-Violent Conflict                                    Christian Lamarre, Senior Programme Officer, United Nations Democracy Fund                                      Mercedes Say, Latin American Indigenous Activist, Maya K´iche Nation

Lightning Talks

As an integral part of the event, the GDC IDD celebration will also feature a series of dynamic and engaging lightning talks that provide valuable insights and innovative approaches on the intersection of inclusive democracy and sustainable development. These concise presentations, which may be in video format, will offer an opportunity to hear from experts, practitioners, and thought leaders who will share their knowledge, experiences, and success stories.