NEW DELHI: The Election Commission of India is hosting a two day international conference on the theme 'Role, Framework & Capacity of Election Management Bodies' at New Delhi. The ECI leads the Cohort on Election Integrity - which was established as a follow on to the 'Summit for Democracy' held in December, 2021.
The two day conference to be held on October 31 and November 1. It will be inaugurated by Chief Election Commissioner of India Rajiv Kumar. The concluding session will be chaired by Election Commissioner, Anup Chandra Pandey. ECI, as the lead for the Cohort on 'Election Integrity', took a collaborative approach and invited Greece, Mauritius and IFES to be co-leads for the Cohort. ECI also invited UNDP and International IDEA, apart from EMBs and Government counterparts dealing with the conduct of elections worldwide, informed the government on Saturday.
Nearly 50 Participants from Eleven EMBs from 11 countries including Armenia, Mauritius, Nepal, Cabo Verde, Australia, Chile, Federal States of Micronesia, Greece, Philippines, Sao Tome & Principe, USA and three international organisations namely, IFES, International IDEA and UNDP India are expected to join. Many more countries are being represented by their Missions in New Delhi.
The first two sessions on Day-1 will have discussions on the current & future challenges being faced by the EMBs with respect to their role and framework to ensure 'election integrity'.
The inaugural session will be chaired by the CEC who will deliver the keynote address. Prior to that, US Charge d' Affaires will also address the Conference.
The first session on the 'Current challenges' faced by EMBs will be co-chaired by the Electoral Commissioner of Mauritius and Nepal. The session will have presentations from Election Authorities in Mexico, Chile, Nepal and Greece.
The second session on 'Future Challenges' is to be co-chaired by Secretary General, International IDEA and the Head of the Department of Elections and Political Parties, Directorate of Elections, Ministry of Interior, Hellenic Republic, Greece. The session will have presentations from representatives of the Australian Electoral Commission and COMELEC, Philippines.
The session on Day-2 'Capacity of EMBs' will be chaired by President & CEO IFES. The session will have presentations from IFES Country Director (Sri Lanka & Bangladesh), representative from UNDP and Head of the Department of Electoral Rolls and Results, Directorate of Elections, Ministry of Interior, Hellenic Republic, Greece.
The concluding session of the Conference on 1st November, 2022 which will also see the summary of the proceedings being presented, will be chaired by Election Commissioner, Shri Anup Chandra Pandey who will deliver his address.
A special virtual session to enable stakeholders, who could not send delegation to New Delhi, is scheduled on 1st November, 2022 at 6:00 PM. USA, US AID will be participating along with other delegations.
To firm up recommendations of the Cohort on Election Integrity, ECI will also hold Conference covering thematics of 'Technology' and 'Inclusive Elections' - both vital building blocks for Elections Integrity worldwide.
'Summit for Democracy', was an initiative of US President and hosted in December 2021. The Prime Minister of India spoke at the Leaders Plenary Session on December 9, 2021. Following this Summit, a "Year of Action" was proposed with events and dialogues on themes related to Democracy and to host an in-person 'Leaders' Summit for Democracy' subsequently. The Summit also developed two platforms - 'Focal Groups' and 'Democracy Cohorts' to facilitate participation in the Year of Action.
As part of the 'Summit for Democracy' Year of Action, India through the ECI, is leading the 'Democracy Cohort on Election Integrity' to share its knowledge, technical expertise and experiences with other democracies of the world.
ECI, as its lead, has proposed to also provide training and capacity building programmes to Election Management Bodies (EMBs) across the world and provide technical consultancy as per needs of other EMBs.