North Africa and Middle East events prove democracy a universal yearning – Ban

This year’s dramatic popular support for political change in North Africa and the Middle East showed that democracy is a governance model that people of all cultures yearn for, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, noting, however, that it cannot be imposed from abroad.

UN helps newly democratic States share ideas on transition in Arab region

Representatives from countries that have recently undergone transitions to democracy are meeting in Cairo in a United Nations-supported conference to exchange ideas on democracy and development in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere in the Arab world, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said today.

Genuine democracy essential to human development, UN chief says

Human development is far more likely to take root if there is genuine democracy in a society, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, stressing the need for authorities everywhere to give people a greater say in their own governance.

UN chief says Eastern Europe can serve as example to 2011’s emerging democracies

The countries of Central and Eastern Europe that experienced their transitions to democracy 20 years ago offer important lessons for the Arab nations that are currently undergoing revolutions, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today during a visit to Bulgaria.

UN Democracy Fund shortlists 65 projects worldwide to receive support

The United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) has identified 65 projects – including 10 in the Arab world, the scene of many popular uprisings this year – to receive funding during the current round of disbursements to support democratization efforts.

UN official pays tribute to legacy of former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld

The values and ideas embodied by the former United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld – from championing human rights to promoting democracy to fighting poverty – remain more relevant than ever, half a century after his death, a senior UN official said today.