Press Release: Democracy International celebrates International Democracy Day in Bangladesh

Dhaka, Bangladesh

On the fourth annual International Day of Democracy, established by the United Nations General Assembly, Democracy International (DI) is proud to join the growing number of public, civil society and private organizations who recognize the day as an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world.

“The purpose of the International Day of Democracy is not to dwell on shortcomings but to recognize the progress made to date and to encourage further reforms in opening the political process up to greater participation particularly by women and youth, ensuring the robust exchange of information and ideas, and bringing greater accountability to the activities of elected officials, political parties and their leaders, and civil society organizations”, said Owen Lippert, Democracy International’s Chief of Party in Bangladesh.

Democracy International is a U.S.-based organization specializing in democratic evaluation and analysis, political party reform and electoral strengthening.  Operating in Bangladesh since April 2011, DI is implementing the Democratic Participation and Reform (DPR) project with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of International Development (DfID) (U.K.). The Democratic Participation and Reform project will continue DI’s work of promoting good and representative governance by concentrating on political outreach, research and party organization here in Bangladesh. DI maintains an office in Dhaka and will soon open additional offices in regions of Bangladesh.

In the last twenty years, Bangladeshis from all walks of life, in cities and in villages, have seen progress being made – four internationally accepted parliamentary elections, high voter turnout, ever increasing participation by women, and a remarkably accurate voters’ list. Democracy is a continual process rather than a singular result. The challenge to improve democracy in Bangladesh remains as important as ever.

DI’s staff in Bethesda and Bangladesh, its civil society partners here and around the world, and those who support our work encourage other organizations and individuals to look upon the International Day of Democracy as an opportunity for reflect on and resolve to improve the global state of democracy.

Let us all, Bangladeshis and international observers, look forward to taking stock of the state of democracy next year on the fifth International Day of Democracy and finding, together, evidence of the incremental progress we will have made.