News and Updates

Celebrating International Day of Democracy 2020

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“If you live in a place where you can participate in the political process, please do. The only way that we can protect all our rights is if we protect our right to choose our own leaders.” – IFES President and CEO Anthony Banbury

In celebration of International Day of Democracy on September 15, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) affirms people’s right to have a voice in how they are governed to ensure that democracies deliver for all both during and after crises. The day was first marked by the United Nations (UN) in 2007 as a way to promote and protect democratic principles, and this year’s theme is “COVID-19: A Spotlight on Democracy.”

“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.” – UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Join the celebration by following #DemocracyDay on social media, get the toolkit and participate in upcoming events hosted by IFES and our partners.

Upcoming Events

“Democracy Is:” A Democracy Day Conversation

September 15, 9:00 a.m. EDT

Join the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for a conversation with five democracy heroes who will highlight USAID’s investments in strengthening democratic governance around the world. This event marks the culmination of USAID's nine-month "Democracy Is" communications campaign. RSVP.

The Role of Political Inclusion in Strengthening Democracy

September 15, 2:00 p.m. EDT

Follow the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) on Facebook @StateDRL to watch a conversation with IFES Senior Global Inclusion Advisor Virginia Atkinson.

Ways to Overcome the Challenges of COVID-19 in Election Management: From a Policy and Technological Perspective

September 16, 10:00 a.m. UST, 6:00 p.m. KST

The A-WEB Secretariat and International Centre for Parliamentary Studies will host a webinar featuring IFES Senior Global Electoral Operations and Administration Advisor Staffan Darnolf. RSVP.

Challenges and Opportunities of Voting in 2020: Constitution Day Panel

September 17, 12:00 p.m. EDT

Yale University will host a live, online discussion on constitutional guarantees to enfranchisement and what that means in 2020, featuring IFES Senior Global Legal Advisor Katherine Ellena. RSVP.

How to Build a Democracy That’s Designed for All? Promoting Access and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

September 24, 8:00 a.m. EDT

Many persons with disabilities are excluded from equal access to electoral and political processes, which has been exacerbated by COVID-19. Join IFES for a webinar on innovative approaches for persons with disabilities to equally participate during upcoming elections across Europe and practical recommendations for administering inclusive elections. RSVP.

Analysis and Solutions

During this time of uncertainty, IFES has been delivering critical analysis and innovative solutions for our partners. The IFES COVID-19 Briefing Series tackles fundamental areas of concern for democracy and governance in the wake of the pandemic.

IFES also joined more than 500 political and civil leaders, Nobel Laureates and pro-democracy institutions on an open letter, “A Call to Defend Democracy,” warning that the freedoms we cherish are under threat from governments that are using the crisis to tighten their grip on power.

To receive updates on IFES’ COVID-19 response, sign up for our email newsletter and follow #COVIDxDemocracy on social media. Learn more about our other IFES events.

Published on September 11, 2020.