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Thursday, September 16, 2021
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COVID crises highlight strengths of democratic systems, says Guterres

In his message for the International Day of Democracy, António Guterres defined within the wake of COVID-19, this meant figuring out good governance practices that may counter all types of emergencies, whether or not public well being, environmental or monetary. 

“It means addressing the egregious global injustices laid bare by the crisis, from pervasive gender inequalities and inadequate health systems to unequal access to vaccines, education, the internet and online services,” he mentioned.  

For the UN chief, together with the human toll carried by these most disadvantaged, “these persistent historical inequalities are themselves threats to democracy.” 

Participation of all 

The Secretary-General argues that strengthening democracy additionally means embracing participation in decision-making, together with peaceable protests, and giving a voice to folks and communities which have historically been excluded. 

“The silencing of women, religious and ethnic minorities, indigenous communities, people with disabilities, human rights defenders and journalists is an impediment to creating healthy societies,” Mr. Guterres mentioned. 

For him, “democracy simply cannot survive, let alone flourish, in the absence of civic space.” 

Emergency powers 

In his message, António Guterres additionally stresses the significance of phasing out emergency powers and authorized measures by governments, which in some circumstances have turn into repressive and contravene human rights legislation.  

He explains that some States and safety sector establishments depend on emergency powers as a result of they provide shortcuts, however cautions that, with time, “such powers can seep into legal frameworks and become permanent, undermining the rule of law and consuming the fundamental freedoms and human rights that serve as a bedrock for democracy.” 

At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary-General warned that “every crisis poses a threat to democracy, because the rights of the people, in particular those most vulnerable, are all too quickly ignored.” 

It is for that motive that safety of rights in instances of disaster is a key component of his Call to Action for Human Rights, issued in February of final yr. 

As the world begins to look past the pandemic, Mr. Guterres referred to as on the worldwide neighborhood to “commit to safeguarding the principles of equality, participation and solidarity”, in order that it can higher climate the storm of future crises.

#Note-Author Name – Global Issues

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