The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) joins the United Nations, countries and citizens around the world in celebrating International Democracy Day. International Democracy Day is celebrated annually every September 15.

There are many political systems around the world. Democracy in its simplest term is the right of the people to choose who will rule them. Democracy is not only about the right to vote. It is all the rights that are taken for granted in a democracy- freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc. All human rights flow from democratic rule.

This year, International Day of Democracy comes amidst the covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has changed the global agenda. Instead of focusing on democracy and provoking democratic values, we see a world that is closing borders and people promoting the idea that looking inward is the best way to survive in the world. If anything, the pandemic has shown how connected we are. The virus did not respect any borders.

We believe the promotion of democracy is fundamental to human rights. The right to choose rulers is at the core of the system of human rights. UN Secretary-General António Guterres was not exaggerating when he stated: “As the world confronts COVID-19, democracy is crucial in ensuring the free flow of information, participation in decision-making and accountability for the response to the pandemic.”

“Every human being yearns to live in a democracy that respects his human rights,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. “When we look at the world map, when human beings are given the choice, they flock to democracies,” added Hamad. “The real global pandemic that we have been suffering from for years is autocratic regimes,” concluded Hamad.

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