Democracy is a universally recognized ideal and is one of the core values and principles of the United Nations.
It provides an environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights.
In July 2010, as part of a resolution on system-wide reform, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, mandated to coordinate the gender mainstreaming work of the UN System.
In doing so, UN Member States took an historic step in accelerating the Organization’s goals on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
These values are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and further developed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which enshrines a host of political rights and civil liberties underpinning meaningful democracies.
United Nations activities in support of democracy and governance are carried out through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR),and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), among others.
In essence, therefore, democratic governance is the process of creating and sustaining an environment for inclusive and responsive political processes and settlements.
It is also important to note that the United Nations does not advocate for a specific model of government, but promotes democratic governance as a set of values and principles that should be followed for greater participation, equality, security and human development.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the General Assembly in 1948, clearly projected the concept of democracy by stating “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government.” The Declaration spells out the rights that are essential for effective political participation.
Since its adoption, the Declaration has inspired constitution-making around the world and has contributed greatly to the global acceptance of democracy as a universal value and principle.