Nay Pyi Taw, 15 Sept
The following is the full text of the message sent by President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar at the ceremony to mark the International Day of Democracy 2013.
Esteemed National People
On this International Day of Democracy, which falls on 15 September this year, I wish people of Myanmar fully enjoy the essence of democracy while taking part in the mission of further burgeoning democracy and democratic reforms.
In 2007 the 62nd United Nations General Assembly resolved to observe 15 September as the International Day of Democracy in commemoration of democracy and with the purpose of raising the awareness of continuous democracy promotion both at present and in future and also encouraging governments to promote democratic principles and public understanding of democracy.
Democracy is a universal value based on the freely expressed will of all the people and their full participation in their own administrative affairs. It is a principle of living as a whole regardless of locality, race, origin, religion, rank, status, culture, gender and wealth.
Democratization is no easy task, and democracy is not an all-perfect system. Democracy has no end goal. Continuous efforts to meet the changes as well as mutual respect and amicable settlements are its requirements.
Myanmar is among the countries with resolve towards democratization, and her people are making bold steps in building a modern democratic nation. From political and economic reforms to peace, nation-building and national integration, we are reshaping our society and raising democracy values. In democracy not only the governments have decision making power. The people themselves participate equally in choosing the administrative system and values they aspire. As our political transition is from centralized system to democracy governance the responsibility of shaping our own democracy culture in our own way falls on every one of us.
To be able to hear people’s voices and make self-determination over administrative machinery, the International Day of Democracy for 2013 is observed with the theme “Strengthening Voices for Democracy”. And the initial steps have already been taken for the Myanmar people to be able to enjoy more rights, to have their say in public affairs management as well as in the political decision making process.
Although they have been able to express their wishes, they must stay away from harming others’ rights and hate speech. If we want a burgeoning democracy, we must strike a balance between accountability, transparency and freedom that shape a human society.
Depending on historical background of a nation and its lifestyles, traditions and customs, values, political parties, political, economic and social organizations and the entire people or all the stakeholders in shaping democracy, democracy evolves through different approaches and ways. Anyhow mindset maturity, vision, discipline and democracy are indivisible. Myanmar is now facing a series of uncertainties, challenges and obstacles in its unprecedented transition to democracy. We are going to overcome those challenges through goodwill, with active participation of the government, the parliaments, political forces, civil societies, the Armed Forces and the people as the basic strength.
The current conflicts and hardships are just the unavoidable challenges in democratization, and such challenges often bring with them opportunities. Making better use of the opportunities those challenges are to be surmounted.
On this occasion of the International Day of Democracy, I would like to urge you all to respect different voices, to participate in revealing discussions, persuasive talks and negotiations and to strengthen public voices for flourishing of democracy.