Global perspective Human stories

Democratization is a process, not an event, says Secretary-General Ban

Democratization is a process, not an event, says Secretary-General Ban

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses UNDEF's advisory board meeting
Democratization requires careful nurturing through participation and institutions, despite being on the rise around the globe, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in New York today.

This morning, he addressed the Advisory Board of the United Nations Democracy Fund, which was established in 2005 and awards grants to projects that aim to promote and consolidate new and restored democracies.

“As you know better than anyone, democratization is a process, not an event,” Mr. Ban said.

“It seeks rule of law over rule of man, it requires respect for civil and political rights, and it demands constant interaction between those who govern and those that are governed.”

He also characterized democratization as more of a “marathon than a sprint,” as it is a “long struggle that must be waged by individual citizens, myriad communities and entire nations.”

Pledging the UN’s support to those undertaking the “challenge of democratization,” the Secretary-General highlighted that efforts to promote democratic governance are intertwined with the world body’s work in human rights, development and peace and security.

The Fund received almost 2,000 project applications for its second round. As of 12 March, it has received nearly $73 million in contributions.