YANGON—How can the democratic transition in Myanmar be consolidated and moved forward? During the International Democracy Day event in Yangon, organized on 15 September by Support to Electoral Processes and Democracy (STEP Democracy), stakeholders and high-level keynote speakers including Yangon Region Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein and Peace Conference chairman Tin Myo Win will share their vision on this all important question.
The event kicks off with an opening keynote speech that will be delivered by Phyo Min Thein, the Yangon Region Chief Minister and one of the bright young stars in the National League for Democracy. His address will be followed by a keynote on the importance of managing diversity in elections, by S. Y Quraishi, the former Chief Election Commissioner of India.
Quraishi feels that International Day of Democracy “is a great occasion to dedicate ourselves to the achievement of the newly added Sustainable Development Goal 16 that calls for democracy for participatory societies and institutions.”
Quraishi said, “Nowhere is that goal more important than in South and Southeast Asia, which houses 60 per cent of the population of the democratic world. And the biggest cause for celebration is Myanmar, the latest country to join the world of democracy.”
Pakistani MP Shazia Jannat Marri, EU Delegation representative Andreas Magnusson, and STEP Democracy chair Leena Rikkila Tamang, also will join the Democracy Day conversation, while Tin Myo Win, the chairman of the Union Peace Conference, will deliver remarks on the importance of national reconciliation to consolidate the transition to democracy.
The International Democracy Day event on 15 September will take place in the Summit Parkview hotel and is organized by Support To Electoral Processes and Democracy. STEP Democracy supports inclusive, peaceful and credible electoral processes, and empowers Myanmar stakeholders in the democratic transition. In STEP Democracy, the European Union provides support via eight organizations: four international organizations: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD), Democracy Reporting International (DRI), and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF); as well as four local organizations: Myanmar Egress, Hornbill Organization, the Scholar Institute and Naushawng Education Network.
The Democracy Day celebration will be followed by a closed-door event on 16 September, during which stakeholders—the Union Election Commission, civil society organizations, politicians, members of the media—will participate in group discussions and sessions to take a closer look at electoral reform, in an atmosphere that facilitates sharing ideas and experiences freely.