Back to overview

International Democracy Week 2020 events focus on innovative solutions

September 10, 2020

To mark the importance of democracy, International IDEA will be celebrating and involved in various activities and dialogues on strengthening a more democratic world.

Join us and our partners in commemorating the International Day of Democracy throughout the entire second week of September.



15 -18 September 2020

On #DemocracyDay join our call to #DefendDemocracy! View a collection of short video messages from a few our signatories about today's challenges and what we can do. 

Since the launch of the joint Letter to Defend Democracy on 25 June 2020, we have more than150 organizations and over 800 individual signatories committed to protecting our democracies.

Read the letter in one of 13 languages and join the cause today!





Democracy Week 2020: Overcoming Adversity, Innovating Democracy

14 -17 September 2020

2020 has become a pivotal year for European and international leadership on democracy, in which the actions of today will shape the world of tomorrow. As such and on the occasion of the International Day of Democracy on 15 September, this year’s International Democracy Week from 14 to17 September will focus on what we can do to strengthen democracy and foster democratic innovation. 

To inspire discussions, the series will also mark the launch of the Report “Global Democracy and COVID-19: Upgrading International Support”.

Choose from seven session to join during a full week of events to strengthen diversity and innovate democracy! 

Learn more about the sessions and sign up.





A Battle of Narratives: Buidling Public support for democratic renewal 

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

09:30 -11:00 EDT

The COVID-19 crisis has escalated the “battle of narratives” between democracy and authoritarianism.  There is a debate about which governance system is best situated to protect citizens from the health crisis and deliver on the social contract with them. By raising awareness that the freedoms we cherish are under threat, the Call aims to mobilize citizens and policymakers to fight the battle of narratives and to defend democracy.

Building on this statement, International IDEA and the World Movement for Democracy will host a conversation with experts and democracy activists to develop arguments supporting democracy that will appeal to people across regions, cultures, and generations.

Learn more about this online discussion and listen to remarks from our Secretary-General.





Democracy Day in the Time of the Pandemic: A Sustainable Response to the Global Crisis based on Multilateralism and the Rule of Law

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

The international community is observing the International Day of Democracy at a time when the magnitude, implications and gravity of the global crisis brought about by the pandemic are becoming increasingly patent.  But so are also the lessons we are learning from current experience that can guide the recovery and serve, in the words of the UN Secretary General, to “build back better”.  A central element of these lessons is that the quality and sustainability of the recovery will depend to a very large extent on governance capacity at all levels—local, national and international; on the transparency and accountability of public institutions; and on strengthening people’s trust in the state.

Read more and register to receive the WebEx link to access the event.




Parliaments’ responses to the pandemic: are virtual parliaments here to stay?

Thursday, 17 September 2020

14:30 – 16:00 (CET)

The coronavirus pandemic continues to have a profound impact on both governance priorities and democratic processes. Parliaments around the world are looking at if and how innovations they have adopted to continue functioning during the pandemic will be integrated into the ‘new normal’ of parliamentary work. Can innovations such as virtual parliaments strengthen engagement with citizens? Can governments be effectively held to account through online questioning? Are current technologies adequate and secure? What are the overall impacts of COVID-19 on democratic governance, and how can parliaments address emerging threats?

In answering some of these critical questions, the workshop will:  examine the future of virtual parliaments--challenges and opportunities; explore parliaments’ responses to the pandemic highlighted in the INTER PARES Primer “Parliaments and crisis: Challenges and Innovations” and “Parliamentary responses during the COVID-19 Pandemic – Data Tracker”; address the overall impact of the pandemic on democratic governance and share current findings of the Global Monitor of COVID-19´s Impact on Democracy and Human Rights, implemented by International IDEA.

Learn more about this workshop and register to join.


Chiara Adamo, Head of Unit - Gender Equality, Human Rights and Democratic Governance, DG DEVCO, European Commission (TBC)

Jonathan Murphy, Head of Programme, INTER PARES | Parliaments in Partnership, International IDEA

Dr Olivier Rozenberg, Associate Professor, Sciences Po Pari

Hassan Ziyau, Director of Communications People’s Majlis, The Republic of The Maldives 

Laura Mancilla, Lead researcher “Parliamentary responses during the COVID-19 Pandemic – Data Tracker”

Moderator: Marilyn Neven, Programme Manager, International IDEA




Fifth Annual Melbourne Forum on Constitution-building in Asia and the Pacific

Thursday, 17 September 2020

14:00-16:00 AEST

The topic and format of the 2020 Melbourne Forum were adapted in response to the historic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Forum topic is "Representation in Democracies During Emergencies" and the format will be a series of four online webinars over the course of September 2020.

Melbourne Forum 2020 recognizes that representation is critical, both in constitution-building processes and in the institutions for democratic government that constitutions put in place. In both theory and practice, representation raises a host of questions for constitutional arrangements, however, and these questions only become more pressing during emergencies.

The Forum was divided into four webinars, join us for this week's Multi-level government and COVID-19.





Defending Democracy in A Global Pandemic: Options for Canadian Foreign and Development Policy Makers

Thursday, 17 September 2020

16:00-17:30 CEST

The Parliamentary Centre, in collaboration with International IDEA, is organizing a conversation useful for Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and Canadian foreign and development policy thinkers to ensure support for women's political voice, inclusive democratic institutions and human rights remain at the heart of Canada’s COVID-19 response.

The discussion will explore the importance of ensuring continued democracy support in light of the unprecedented crisis of COVID-19. Among other issues, the discussion will offer perspectives on these pressing questions:

  • What are the main areas of democratic governance affected by the COVID 19 crisis?
  • What are the most agile strategies to safeguard against democratic erosion during a crisis and in crisis recovery?
  • What have been the unique impacts of this crisis on women and what role do they play in the strategies identified to mitigate against democratic backsliding? Are there innovative ways to engage women and strengthen their leadership to build resilience and foster more effective development?
  • How can Canada add more value in supporting and defending democracy worldwide?
  • Should democracy support agencies and international partners develop more coordination to respond to emergencies? How?


  1. Colin Robertson, Senior Fellow Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  2. Dr. Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General, International IDEA
  3. Elene Panchulidze (Georgian Institute of Politics and co-author of Global Democracy and COVID-19: Upgrading International Support)
  4. Anita Vandenbeld, MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Defence, Member of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development 
  5. Kevin Deveaux, former MLA (Nova Scotia), International Parliamentary Development expert


  • Tom Cormier, CEO, Parliamentary Centre

Learn more  or  register directly now. 





Reinventing the role of international and regional organizations in promoting peaceful, just and inclusive Institutions in times of crisis: What was done and what Is next?

Friday, 18 September 2020

10:30 EST (USA)

International IDEA will facilitate a conversation with on the key challenges and opportunities that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented at the regional level, and take stock of what was done until now; learn from those experiences, and try to make an estimation of what is next to ensure democratic sustainability and development from an inter-regional perspective.  

Panelists include the Community of Democracies, Organization of American States, African Union Commission, Association of South East Asian Nations, Council of Europe and the UN.

We are looking at developing policy recommendations on the way forward, based on institutional experiences, aimed at enhancing inter-regional collaboration and exchanges of best practices, as well as to harness ideas on how to better align global and regional efforts to support key actions towards the achievement of  the SDGs, despite the current global health crisis.

See the full event details and RSVP today.

View our themes
Close tooltip