On the occasion of the 2016 International Day of Democracy, it is not only important to reflect on the state of our democracy here in Canada, but also democracy abroad. While we take stock of the values that we uphold and cherish as participants in our democracy, we must also turn our attention to the state of democracy around the world.
This year’s theme, “Democracy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” is fitting in that it underlines that good governance and development go hand in hand. When governments uphold the principle of justice for all citizens and establish institutions that are inclusive, accountable and effective – individuals thrive and contribute their best.
For the past month I’ve been traveling across Canada hearing from Canadians directly on the values and expectations they feel should be reflected in Canada’s electoral system.
At every stop, it is clear; Canadians expect greater inclusion, transparency, engagement and modernization from their public institutions.
Canada is a shining example of the democratic promise. We must cherish this opportunity and transmit it. In fact our diplomats and aid workers share their Canadian expertise in many emerging democracies and fragile states around the world – to strengthen democratic institutions and actors, reduce corruption and promote transparency and accountability
On this International Day of Democracy, let us rededicate ourselves to the values that make Canada great and to the important shared responsibility of strengthening our democracy. Let us also rededicate ourselves to helping other countries around the world in creating the sustainable conditions that help bolster and steward healthy democracies that benefit everyone.”
— The Honourable Maryam Monsef,
Minister of Democratic Institutions
Ottawa, ON, September 15, 2016