Today HE Ambassador of the United States of America, Sarah-Ann Lynch, HE the British High Commissioner, Jane Miller OBE, HE Canadian High Commissioner, Mark Berman, and HE Ambassador of the European Union, René van Nes commemorate the 15th anniversary of the International Day of Democracy.
As we celebrate this anniversary today, we reaffirm the cornerstones of democracy, including liberty, equality, inclusivity, freedom of religion and belief, speech and assembly, the rule of law, and the right to vote. While free, fair and inclusive elections are critical, democracies also help safeguard human rights and fundamental freedoms and work to strengthen political, economic, and social rights. And they do so openly, to the benefit of all. When these principles are placed at the center of foreign policy frameworks, they connect us as global citizens and help nations achieve and sustain peace and stability around the world.
We acknowledge that democracy as a form of government is not without its challenges and requires continuous reflection and improvement. To tackle the critical issues facing the world today, democracies need to be constantly vigilant in strengthening their institutions and processes, actively engaging civil society, supporting press freedom, ensuring equity and fairness, respect for diversity, and holding to account those who commit abuses and foster corrupt practices.
These cherished democratic values are fragile, and sadly, not all global citizens enjoy the rights that stem from these values. It is a stark reminder that there is still work to be done to uphold democratic principles and renew the spirit of democracy across the globe.
In closing, on this International Day of Democracy we resolve to support the people of Guyana to continue building a democratic system that is strong, resilient, and guarantees all Guyanese have a voice and role to play as the country moves forward at this unique time in its history.