Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the International Day of Democracy

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
September 15, 2010


On the International Day of Democracy, we recognize and celebrate the values of shared responsibility, liberty, tolerance, and justice that drive strong, functioning democracies to overcome their most complex challenges.

Time and again, the United States has met its responsibilities by calling on these core values, anchoring them within our founding documents and defending them at home and abroad. We have worked to perfect our system of governance, adjusting to new realities while remaining true to our core convictions. We realize that no democracy is perfect, nor are any two democracies exactly alike – but the United States will always find common purpose with people who believe that citizens should decide how they are governed and that all men and women should have confidence in the fair and impartial administration of justice.

The United States also recognizes that democracy can be advanced with the help of new ideas, new leaders and hard work. That belief is the inspiration behind the annual Democracy Is… challenge, which relaunches for a third year this evening at United Nations headquarters. Budding filmmakers from around the world are asked to complete the phrase “Democracy is…” by creating a winning video short. Last year’s contestants managed to reach more than 3.5 million through YouTube, engaging in a dialogue on democracy that spanned the world, and winners hailed from Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, Nepal and Spain. Their thoughtful efforts demonstrate that the values that underpin democracy can be found anywhere, and give hope that a peaceful, prosperous and more secure future is not beyond the reach of any citizen who is given the opportunity to shape it.


PRN: 2010/182