TCRM Celebrates International Democracy Day 2023

TCRM Celebrates International Democracy Day 2023 With the Unical Youth Friendly hub and other partners.

Every year on September 15th, the world celebrates International Democracy Day. It’s a day to reflect on the principles of democracy and reaffirm our commitment to upholding them. In 2023, the theme for this significant day is “Empowering the Next Generation.” This theme underscores the vital role that young people play in advancing democracy and emphasizes the need to include their voices in decisions that profoundly impact their world.

We at The Cross River Movement [TCRM] see ourselves as essential partners with the government in Cross River State. We see ourselves as playing the role of helping to reduce the gap between the people of Cross River State and their government. The International Democracy Day theme for this year emphasizes the need to educate the youth on their role in attaining good governance. 

The Guardians of Democracy: Young People

Young people are not just the future custodians of democracy; they are its present defenders and champions. In a world grappling with unresolved conflicts, the escalating threat of climate change, and financial instability, democracy faces constant challenges. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, in his message on the International Day of Democracy, aptly warns that “the walls are closing in on civic spaces.”

One of the key culprits behind these challenges is the pervasive spread of misinformation and disinformation. These toxins poison public discourse, polarize communities, and erode trust in institutions. Their impact is particularly pronounced on young minds, making it imperative to address this issue comprehensively.

The 2023 Theme: Empowering the Next Generation

Against this backdrop, the theme of “Empowering the Next Generation” for the International Day of Democracy in 2023 holds immense significance. It focuses on the pivotal role that children and youngsters play in ensuring the vitality of democracy, both today and in the future.

Empowering the next generation involves equipping young people with knowledge, critical thinking skills, and the ability to distinguish between reliable information and misinformation. It also means involving them in decision-making processes that affect their lives. By empowering young people, we are not only safeguarding the future of democracy but also harnessing their energy, creativity, and idealism to address the pressing challenges of our time.

The Essence of International Democracy Day

The International Day of Democracy provides a global platform to assess the state of democracy worldwide. Democracy is not merely a goal; it’s an ongoing process. To make the ideal of democracy a reality that can be enjoyed by all, it requires the active participation and support of the international community, national governments, civil society, and individuals.

Central to this idea is the fundamental human right of freedom of expression, as enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, around the world, governments and powerful entities seek to obstruct this right in various ways.

Article 19 declares, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.” It encompasses the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any medium, regardless of frontiers. This fundamental right is at the core of democracy and must be protected and upheld.

As we celebrate International Democracy Day in 2023 under the theme of “Empowering the Next Generation,” let us remember that democracy is a collective endeavor. It thrives when everyone, especially the youth, actively participates and upholds the principles of freedom, justice, and equality.

Empowering young people with the tools to navigate the complexities of the information age and involving them in shaping the future is not just a choice but a necessity. Together, as a global community, we can ensure that democracy remains robust, resilient, and capable of meeting the challenges of our time, leaving a legacy of freedom and justice for generations to come.

Special thanks to all our partners From the youth-friendly hub, Transformation Home Africa, YALI (Young Africa Leader Initiative), Cross River State, and all others. Indeed, we can achieve when we work together. TOGETHER WE CAN!