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What is Democracy?

Democracy is a system of political governance whose decision-making power is subject to the controlling influence of citizens who are considered political equals. A democratic political system is inclusive, participatory, representative, accountable, transparent and responsive to citizens aspirations and expectations. Fundamentally, it means a government of, by and for the people.

What is Human Rights?

Human rights are minimum standards of legal, civil and political freedom that are granted universally. These rights take precedence over other claims by individuals, groups or states. Human rights refer to the perception that humans, no matter what ethnicity, nationality or legal influence, have universal rights. These rights usually include the right to life, freedom from torture, freedom of movement, the right to an adequate standard of living, freedom of religion, the right to self-determination, the right to participation in cultural and political life and the right to education. Many international as well as national laws safeguard the human rights of its inhabitants, although these laws and their implementations vary.

What is Non-Violent?

The term nonviolence is complex and has varied meanings, among which it is important to draw distinctions. In general, the term has been interpreted as in the negative - an absence of violence. However, nonviolence, both in theory and practice can and should be viewed as a positive, an active and potent force for attaining certain goals.

Self-Determination

The preferred outcome of an exercise of the right to self-determination varies greatly among the members of the UNPO. For some, the only acceptable outcome is full political independence. This is particularly true of occupied or colonized nations. For others, the goal is a degree of political, cultural and economic autonomy, sometimes in the form of a federal relationship. For others yet, the right to live on and manage a people’s traditional lands free of external interference and incursion is the essential aim of a struggle for self-determination.

Tolerance

Tolerance is respect and acceptance of the rich diversity of the world’s cultures, forms of expression and ways of being human. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience and belief. Tolerance is harmony in difference. It is not only a moral duty; it is also a political and legal requirement. Tolerance is the virtue that makes peace possible. It contributes to the replacement of the culture of war by a culture of peace.

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