Democracy is a 'constant construction work'

Margot Wallström, Swedish minister of foreign affairs, tells Devex associate editor Richard Jones that demanding accountability may come at a cost.

Accountability has to be built in everything we do as one of the pillars on which democracy rests, Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström told Devex in an exclusive interview at International IDEA’s Stockholm headquarters for #DemocracyMatters.

While there is progress in terms of more widespread recognition of the benefits democracy can bring, there are also some steps backwards in terms of fighting for human rights, Wallström said, adding that many organizations that demand accountability face oppression.

“We have to be on our toes and we have to be aware that this might come at a cost,” she said.

Wallström also said that working to weave “the careful language” on accountability in the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals was a “tough struggle.”

“Democracy is not something you can export … you have to build it. It’s sort of a constant construction work,” she said.

Watch the above clip to learn more about Wallström’s thoughts on accountability and democracy.

Democracy Matters is a global conversation hosted by Devex, in partnership with International IDEA, to discuss accountability as a central element of deepening democracy. Visit the campaign site and join the conversation using #DemocracyMatters.

About the author

  • Jacques Jimeno

    Jacques is a former copy editor at Devex’s news production team. Previously, he worked with the Philippine Department of Tourism and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

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