Democracy in crisis

More than 80 organizations are calling for a UN Special Rapporteur

Today, more than 80 civil society organizations published a joint statement calling on the United Nations to establish the position of a Special Rapporteur on Democracy. The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) is one of the signatories. According to the statement, “democracy is threatened and authoritarianism is on the rise.” Further, the UN “needs to do more to strengthen human rights and democracy”. The new position of a Special Rapporteur should be established by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva – and the aim would be to “investigate the state of democracy around the world from a broader perspective.”
“Ethnic and religious minorities, as well as indigenous peoples are especially affected by increasing authoritarianism in the world. At the same time, these people are particularly dependent on functioning democratic institutions to be able to represent their interests and fight for their rights,” stated Roman Kühn, the STP’s Director, in Göttingen today. “This is why strengthening democracy worldwide must be part of the UN agenda. The position of a Special Rapporteur could make a valuable contribution here.”
“Democracy is one of the fundamental human rights. Without democracy, the guarantee of human rights is arbitrary. The UN must no longer turn a blind eye if the right to democracy, and thus human rights as a whole, is denied, undermined, and weakened in many countries around the world,” emphasized Andreas Bummel, STP Coordinator for the United Nations and executive director of Democracy Without Borders.
The joint appeal is being issued in the run-up to the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 2023. Like-minded organizations, policy makers, and individuals are invited to sign the appeal as well. Apart from the supporting organizations, the appeal was also signed by more than 100 individuals from the fields of science, politics, and the civil society – from all over the world.
UN Special Rapporteurs are unpaid and independent. They do not represent any particular state, region, or party political group. Their responsibilities include fact-finding missions and addressing individual and collective complaints about human rights violations. Currently, there are 45 topic-specific and 13 country-related mandates.
The appeal can be found here in the English original and here in German translation.