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Para 14. “In a democracy, it is the people who are sovereign. Therefore, with regard to the promotion of democracy at the local, country and regional levels, civil society must have a stronger voice in all political processes.”

Para. 16. “Representative democracy frequently manifests a disconnect between parliamentarians and the people, so that parliamentarians have agendas that do not correspond with the wishes of the electorate. This has led in many countries to apathy, cynicism and large-scale absenteeism in elections. What is needed is not only parliaments, but parliamentarians who genuinely represent the wishes of the electorate. “

Para 17. “Representative democracy betrays the electorate when laws have no roots in the people but in oligarchies. Studies on the concept and modalities of direct democracy are therefore becoming more topical.”

Para 18. “Democracy entails a correlation between the public interest as expressed by a majority of the population and the governmental policies that affect them. The term encompasses various manifestations, including direct, participatory and representative democracy, but Governments must be responsive to people and not to special interests such as the military-industrial complex, financial bankers and transnational corporations. Democracy is inclusive and does not privilege an anthropological aristocracy.”

Para. 18 “Although founded on majority rule, a democratic society must recognize and apply individual, minority and group rights. In other words, majority rule must be understood within the context of the rule of law and human dignity… This resolves the tension between populism and human rights, since democracy must not be abused to diminish human rights, e.g. by legitimizing torture or capital punishment, even if public opinion could be invoked or manipulated to demand it. Thus, it is necessary to strengthen the enforcement of national and regional bills of rights to provide a process and atmosphere for democracy to flourish, ensured by an independent judiciary that provides the necessary protection of both majority and minority interests.”

Para 19. “Democracy is not the end product, but the means to the end, which is the enjoyment of human rights by all.”

Para 22. “. No country has a perfect report card. While some countries have strong points in specific areas, they may have serious lacunae in other areas. For instance, some countries have made enormous progress on civil and political rights, but lag in the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights. “

Para 24. “The diagnosis is clear, but changing the status quo has proven difficult, because often those who are elected do not govern, and those who do govern are not elected.”

Para 26. “The war industries in many countries and the enormous trade in weapons of all kinds generate corruption and fuel conflict throughout the world, since there is profit to be made. The existence of an immensely powerful military-industrial complex constitutes a danger to democracy, both internationally and domestically, because it follows its own logic and operates independently of popular participation.”

Para 26. “Unilateralism is by its very nature incompatible with an international democratic order. In spite of the will of the international community and in violation of nearly unanimous General Assembly resolutions, some States continue to rely on unilateralism with total impunity.”

Para 32. “Genuine participation starts at the grassroots and must include a reliable system of selecting candidates who are truly representative of the voters. When the candidates are selected by party machines and the only persons who are ever selected are the elites, then the system is dysfunctional, producing candidates who are not committed to their constituents but to party discipline and to those who finance the party.”

Para 33. “By definition, democracy is oriented toward the public interest, not toward shareholder profit or the market. Aspects of unregulated capitalism and privatization are simply incompatible with the idea of democracy – because they are demonstrably not what the demos wills or even needs, but what a handful of investors want in order to maximize profits with the excuse that the “trickle down” effect will ultimately help the poor. But do the people agree to the trickle down philosophy, which mostly does not work?”

Para 34. “Privatization of public functions constitutes an attack on democracy, because the public interest can only be protected by a public entity, whether a municipal administration or parliament, and not by a board of directors of a corporation oriented toward profit and expanding markets.”

Para 36 “What passes for journalism in many countries actually leaves the population indoctrinated, not informed. Too often journalism reflects a structural bias for the elites, the government and corporate interests.”

Para 39. “Access to truthful and reliable information from diverse sources is indispensable to a responsible citizenry and to the exercise of the vote. Freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are not only rights but also civic duties that should be exercised freely and openly in every democracy. Freedom of expression is not just the right to echo politically correct ideas, but the right to express one’s personal convictions, which necessarily includes the right to be wrong. “

Para 41. “A democratic and equitable international order cannot be achieved as long as civil society lacks mechanisms to ensure change, e.g. by democratically enforcing a shift in priorities away from military expenditures and toward general disarmament, away from surveillance of citizens and toward the prosecution of corruption and criminality, away from “austerity measures” and toward social justice.”

Para 52. “Crucial remains the conviction that the government should serve the people and that its powers must be circumscribed by a Constitution and the rule of law. Juvenal’s question quis custodiet ipsos custodes (who guards the guardians?) remains a central concern of democracy, since the people must always watch over the constitutional behaviour of the leaders and impeach them if they act in contravention of their duties. Constitutional courts must fulfil this need and civil society should show solidarity with human rights defenders and whistleblowers who, far from being unpatriotic, perform a democratic service to their countries and the world.”

Para 53. “It is crucial to ensure the democratization of the media, so that it exercises its watchdog function. An unfree media controlled by the State or held hostage by corporate interests undermines democracy.”

Para 60. “a more democratic and equitable international order is no utopia. It can and will be achieved when individuals, civil society, States and the United Nations work together to make this aspiration a reality for our time. It is our responsibility to ensure that the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations Charter go beyond mere promises and produce fruit for generations to come.”

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