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Democracy is Key to Achieving the Goals of the United Nations

September 20, 2021

Democracy is key to achieving the goals of the United Nations. Without democracy it is impossible to realize the fundamental values espoused by the UN -- sustainable development, peace and security, human rights, and gender equality. As the only intergovernmental organization with an exclusive mandate to advance democracy worldwide, International IDEA has been a strategic partner for the UN for many years.  

Our research and on-the-ground technical assistance provide comparative knowledge to assist policymakers at all levels, from the global to the local. We monitor the health of democracy and share best practices on electoral processes, constitutionalism, and political participation, to support democratic institutions and practices around the world.

International IDEA helps pro-democracy actors tackle constitutional reform in the Gambia, develop deliberative local governments in Nepal, deploy domestic elections observers in Mozambique, and further women’s political participation in Paraguay.

The Office of the Permanent Observer for International IDEA to the UN links our work advancing democracy to the UN agenda and advocates for democracy within the policies of the UN. We use our convening power to disseminate our policy-relevant work through events with our Member States and other likeminded countries at the UN High-Level Political Forum and the General Assembly. Through knowledge production and consultations our work impacts UN deliberations and decisions, including those linked to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We lead projects such as the SDG16 Data Initiative which tracks progress in the implementation of SDG16 on peace, justice and accountable institutions. Alongside many partners, we promote the use of official and non-official data for monitoring progress on this vital goal, which is instrumental for achieving sustainable development.

We also leverage our presence at the heart of the UN system to develop new alliances and strengthen partnerships with research centers and universities, government agencies and foundations, regional and global organizations.  

In the course of multilateral policy discussions, we bring democratic values closer to the UN and the UN closer to democratic values.

All too often UN debates shy away from the issue of democracy because it is perceived as being too sensitive. Quite to the contrary, democratic values, institutions and practices will only help the UN deliver on its key mandates – protecting peace, advancing human rights, and making sure that no one is left behind. Through our status as Permanent Observers, International IDEA is proud to be one of the key voices for democracy within the UN.

This video was created by Matilde Ascheri, Research and Video Design Consultant at International IDEA's UN Office.

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