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Democracy Is The Best Way To Avoid Extremism

Secretary-General Says Democracy Is The Best Way To Avoid Extremism

New York, Oct 30 2006 5:00PM

By allowing different views to be heard “a democracy that works is a conflict prevention instrument,” United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan told a meeting in Qatar, the Sixth International Conference on New and Restored Democracies.

In a statement, read by Amir Dossal, Executive Director of the UN Fund for International Partnerships, Mr. Annan stressed that the “lack of legitimate channels for the articulation of demand and the airing of grievances can drive some people towards extremism and unacceptable acts of violence.

He noted that the UN is currently assisting one of every three parliaments in the developing world.

The most recent effort is through the UN Democracy Fund, which just completed a first round of funding, and which will support projects in 110 countries. A majority of the projects focus on women’s rights since “democracy is not possible without women’s full and equal participation,” Mr. Annan’s statement said.

“The Democracy Fund also shows the UN reform in action,” he added.

“These efforts are based on two beliefs: that democracy is a universal right that does not belong to any country or region, and that participatory governance, based on the will of the people, is the best path to freedom, growth and development.”

Ends

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