Mexico is key partner to help democracy building around the world, says UNDP chief

Sep 15, 2011

Mexico City –  Mexico’s experience in transitioning to democracy is critical to helping other countries through their own transitions, said United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark today, wrapping up a three day official visit to the country.

“Young and old democracies alike share the common objective of achieving effective, accountable and responsive governance [that] expand people’s freedom and choices, enabling them to live lives they value,” she said at an event hosted by President Felipe Calderon to celebrate the International Day of Democracy.

Helen Clark highlighted the recent changes that have swept across the Middle East as examples of people calling for dignity, opportunity, a meaningful say in decision-making, and an end to corruption, injustice and repression.

She noted the role of the President of Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute, Leonardo Valdés Zurita, who attended a UNDP conference three months ago in Cairo where Egyptian government and civil society leaders held dialogues with individuals who took part in democratic transitions in several Latin American countries, Indonesia and South Africa.

Speaking on International Day of Democracy, September 15th, Helen Clark said: “Democracies everywhere, of all shapes and sizes, confront challenges in meeting the demands and aspirations of their people. It’s how they rise to meet those challenges which matters.”

Democracy Day was established by the United Nations in 2007, recognizing that the desire for democracy is universal and is based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives.

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