1st October 2020
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Frustration, mistrust in leaders on the rise globally – UN Chief

Author: Woja Emmanuel | Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2020

File: Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General. PHOTO//Getty images

There is growing frustration and lack of trust in public institutions across the world as more people demand change and good governance, the UN Secretary-General has said.

Antonio Guterres urged governments to listen to the demands of their people for better services and allow greater participation of all citizens.

He made these remarks as the world marks the annual International Day of Democracy which provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world.

In Africa, there have been protests in Mali for the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta who was later ousted by the military.

South Africans also went on the street following a controversial advertisement by the retail chain.

The advertisement in question depicts a black woman’s natural hair with the caption, “dry, damaged hair,” and a white woman with the caption, “fine, flat hair.”

In June, in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi protesters marched against police brutality after a man was killed during the night curfew put in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

In Ghana, people also gathered in Ghana’s capital Accra to show solidarity with the “Black Lives Matter” and those protesting against the death of George Floyd in the US.

In Nigeria, protesters marched at the Nigerian police headquarters in Abuja to demand a public register of sex offenders.

However, much of the protests have been centred in the United States over the killing of George Floyds and the subsequent demands for greater racial justice in America.

Civilian-led political demonstrations and protests are ongoing in Belarus against the government and President Alexander Lukashenko after sought a sixth term in office.

According to the UN chief, these crises brought to the fore long-neglected injustices from inadequate health systems to social protection gaps that have led to extreme frustration towards governance.

Antonio Guterres says there is a need for building tangible democratic system and trust in public administrations.

“On this International Day of Democracy let us seize this pivotal moment to build a more equal, inclusive and sustainable world, with full respect for human rights,” he stressed.

The International Day of Democracy was established in 2007 by the UN General Assembly, which reaffirmed that democracy was a universal value based on the freely-expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems, and their full participation in all aspects of life.

Governments are encouraged to strengthen national programs devoted to promoting and consolidating democracy, including through increased bilateral, regional and international cooperation.

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