This year's election is the biggest in human history, with 3.7 billion people across 72 countries having the opportunity to vote. However, many feel they lack control over their lives and their voices are unheard in the political system. Inequality, distrust in government, disinformation, and polarization are significant challenges. Countries need to invest in governance systems that ensure everyone has a voice and their needs and rights are protected. As the UN’s largest provider of electoral assistance, the United Nations Development Programme () assists between 40 and 50 countries annually, about a third of which are expected to hold elections in 2024. 

Videographers and journalists attending a press conference at UN Headquarters

The challenge of ending impunity for offenses to reporters is crucial to ensure freedom of expression. The 2023 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (2 November) aims to raise awareness of the hurdles faced by reporters such as violence and repression against them, attacks on the press during social protests, and the use of judicial mechanisms against journalists. The theme also highlights the role of a safe and free press in ensuring the integrity of elections and democracies. States must protect the independent press and promote independence, sustainability and diversity.

school girls on break looking at their mobile devices

By the time many of the teenage climate activists of today are in their late 20s, climate change could force an additional 100 million people into extreme poverty []. By 2050, the risk of hunger and malnutrition could rise by 20 percent if the global community fails to act now []. This year’s theme for the International Day of Democracy, “Empowering the next generation,” focuses on young people’s essential role in advancing democracy and ensuring that their voices are included in the decisions that have a profound impact on their world.