Speaking to mark the International Day of Democracy, Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
“The UK firmly believes that democracy in its various forms is the system of government that best allows for dialogue between a government and its people. It gives a country’s citizens the right to exchange one government for another by non-violent means, and to hold governments to account for their actions. The United Kingdom has been unstinting in its support for the positive democratic change we have seen in the Arab world and Burma over the last year.
“International Day of Democracy reminds us that enabling widespread participation in the democratic debate is crucial. The voices of all people must be heard, so potential conflicts can be resolved peacefully. In Syria we see the catastrophic consequences of a regime responding with brutal force to the legitimate aspirations of its people. We call on nations all over the world to uphold the values a society needs for stable democracy to thrive. These values include accountability, tolerance, inclusivity, respect for human rights and freedom of expression and education.
“The UK stands ready to support governments and civil society across the world in their efforts to forge more open, accountable societies.”