31 August 2006

Secretary-General Warmly Welcomes Announcement of UN Democracy Fund Grants Totalling $36 Million

NEW YORK, 30 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The United Nations Democracy Fund today announced its first beneficiaries, awarding grants totalling $36 million to 125 projects selected from around the world.  The grants were selected from over 1,300 proposals and range from projects aimed at promoting civic education to voter registration, democratic dialogue and access to information.  Over 60 per cent of recommended recipients are civil society organizations.

The Secretary-General warmly welcomes the announcement and believes that the initial response from applicants is powerful evidence of the strong demand for support from the United Nations for this very important agenda.  He calls on all Members States to support the Democracy Fund and use it as an innovative and flexible mechanism for advancing the United Nations democracy agenda.

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