Building democracy is a goal closely related to the three pillars of the United Nations: development, peace and security, and human rights. We support the UN in its work by contributing to policy debates and agendas on democracy and promoting multilateral dialogue.
We partner with the UN to develop internationally accepted codes of conduct, principles and best-practice guidance in the fields of democracy assistance. We also help to implement these democracy-assistance initiatives around the globe.
Our work with the UN
We work with the United Nations Secretariat and UN agencies and programmes to:
- gather comparative knowledge on electoral institutions and processes, political party systems, constitution building, gender and democracy, and the analysis of the state of democracy;
- develop analysis based on best practices collected by International IDEA through its work on the ground; and
- implement programmes that support democratic reforms in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Permanent observer status
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance was an idea in the making for several years before its founding in 1995. Critical to International IDEA's inception was a strong partnership with the United Nations, its departments and specialized agencies working on democratic governance and electoral processes. Although International IDEA operates independently of the UN, its Member States are also UN Members and, in the spirit of cooperation, both organizations work closely together on democracy initiatives.
On 9 December 2003, the UN General Assembly granted Observer status to International IDEA. Like all Observers, our representatives may speak at General Assembly meetings and sponsor and sign resolutions. Observers may not vote on resolutions.