On the International Day of Democracy, the Global Student Forum (GSF) calls attention to the critical need for democratic governance around the world. Global student organisations and movements continue to struggle for transparency, accountability and the democratic transformation of power in our educational settings and societies. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global political context in which meaningful engagement with constituents has been eroded at multiple levels for expedient and corrupt decision making.
Democracy is a core value of the GSF and we continue to monitor the developments in different regions by the reports of our activist student leaders and observers. Legislative reforms to deny women sexual and reproductive rights and health care, public demonstrations in defense of extremism, military dictatorships and violence against civilians in protracted conflicts and wars are all attacks on democracy.
As John Dewey stated: “Democracy provides the kinds of freedom necessary for individuals’ self-development and growth – including the freedom to exchange ideas and opinions with others, the freedom to form associations with others to pursue common goals, and the freedom to determine and pursue one’s own conception of the good life…It is more than merely a form of government, it is a mode of associated life in which citizens cooperate with each other to solve their common problems through rational means in a spirit of mutual respect and good will.”
Democracy is at the very foundation of student organisations at the national, regional and global levels. We will continue to promote these values in the hope that people can live more dignified lives, countries can exercise their sovereignty, and people can live in harmony with the environment.