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Friday, June 18, 2021

International Day of Democracy: U.S. Reaffirms Rights of Citizens

On the International Day of Democracy, the U.S. reaffirmed the right of every citizen to take part in the processes of democratic self-governance.

In a statement to mark the day, which is celebrated on Sept. 15, Michael Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State said:”democracies are accountable to their citizens. They respect the Rule of Law, protect lives and property, and respect the freedoms, dignity, and equality of every person.

”Democracy remains the aspiration of people all over the world because each of us yearns to be free. From the time we are children, we instinctively assert our ability to self-govern, to make decisions that shape our lives”.

According to him, the U.S. stands with people everywhere who seek to live freely, safely, and with dignity under democratic governments.

Pompeo said that democracy remains the aspiration of people all over the world because “each of us yearns to be free”.

“As citizens, we understand that we must be free to engage others in debates over the wisdom of the decisions of leaders to whom we entrust the power to protect our lives, our property, and our freedoms.  

“And, as human beings, we know we cannot go it alone because democracies are inclusive communities of individuals who are free to work together to accomplish goals they have freely chosen.

“We flourish because freedom unlocks the talents and creativity of all,” he said.

The Secretary of State said that today, the world reels from one of the greatest public health crises in modern times, with democracies, authoritarian governments, and dictatorships being equally challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that only democracies are free to debate openly how to respond while “authoritarians of every stripe remain true to form.”

Speaking on authoritarian governments, he said that their first priority is not public health, but the protection of their own power and they refuse to answer hard questions.  

“They sow disinformation, scapegoat vulnerable groups, expand mass surveillance, and suspend the rule of law.  People suffer when their leaders are accountable only to themselves or to the parties they control.

“Democracies, by contrast, thrive in times of adversity. 

“Because of freedom of expression and the equality of all persons before the law, citizens of democratic societies are able to confront public health problems together.

“Individuals in democratic nations demand access to information so that they can protect themselves and others,” he said.

In the statement, Pompeo added that societies that embrace equality before the law live out the belief by taking active steps to promote the full participation and protection of all people.

NAN reports that in 2007, the UN General Assembly resolved to observe Sept. 15 as the International Day of Democracy, with the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy. (NAN)

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