The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is looking to strengthen its Elections Observer Mission (EOM), by adopting international principles and codes endorsed by the Carter Centre, Commonwealth, the Organization of American States (OAS), the United Nations (UN) and others.
The foregoing international organizations have been highly critical with regards to Guyana’s prolonged electoral process, for which more than two months later, a final result cannot be declared.
CARICOM, as well as these organizations and the European Union (EU) sent their respective EOMs to observe elections here. It is something that has been ongoing for several years. In the case of Carter Centre, it has been coming here since 1992.
At a recent meeting of The Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) of CARICOM, Foreign Affairs Ministers from across the region recognised the importance of the EOM in promoting and maintaining the CARICOM’s democratic values.
In this regard, the Ministers agreed that the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct for International Election Observers should be adopted.
They also noted the challenges that currently exist in assembling missions and examined ways in which the process could be improved.
The Declaration of Principles for International Elections Observation and the Code of Conduct for International Elections Observers have been endorsed by Carter Centre, Commonwealth Secretariat, the (OAS) and the UN.
It has also been endorsed by the African Union, Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), Center for Electoral Promotion and Assistance (CAPEL), Council of Europe European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission).
The Council of Europe – Parliamentary Assembly, Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA), European Commission, European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO),Electoral Reform International Services (ERIS), also endorses them.
Further endorsing the principles and codes are IFES, International IDEA, Inter-Parliamentary Union, International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute (NDI), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), Pacific Islands, Australia & New Zealand Electoral Administrators’ Association (PIANZEA) and the Pacific Island Forum.
According to the 15-page document, the Declaration and the accompanying Code of Conduct for International Election Observers remain open for endorsement by other intergovernmental and international nongovernmental organizations.
It said that such endorsements should be recorded with the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division.