The Advisory Board of the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), established to promote and consolidate new and restored democracies with financial and technical help, will meet tomorrow to review the Fund’s progress after its first year of activities and decide on future priorities and policies.
UNDEF began its first day of practical work on 6 March last year, although it was established by the Secretary-General in July 2005 and welcomed at that year’s World Summit, which reaffirmed democracy as “a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural system.”
The 2005 World Summit also affirmed that “there is no single model of democracy, and that it does not belong to any country or region”.
The Fund complements current UN efforts to promote free and fair elections, human rights, support to civil society, pluralistic media and the rule of law. So far, it has received a total of $61.2 million from 28 countries, with an additional contribution of $4 million firmly pledged by donors. The largest financial contributor is the United States with $18 million, followed by Japan and India.
The Secretary-General’s Advisory Board is composed of 17 members, including representatives from the largest Member State contributors to the Fund, those from Member States selected by the Secretary-General to reflect diverse geographical representation, and also representatives from civil society and personal representatives of the Secretary-General.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to address the Board early on Tuesday morning in New York.