Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, has informed that the Election Commission of India (ECI) has conducted two days International Conference on ‘Role, Framework and Capacity of EMBs’ as the lead for the Cohort on ‘Election Integrity’, organized by the Election Commission of India, at New Delhi.
Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey presided over the concluding ceremony of two day international conference on ‘Role, Framework and Capacity of EMBs’.
Election Commissioner while addressing the gathering said that though elections are key to democracy, the quality of functional efficiency of conducting elections by EBMs in turn depends on their effectiveness in addressing challenges and maintaining independence. He urged all EMBs to strengthen democratic norms and processes and leverage all relevant platforms for collective action.
Further EC Shri Pandey while highlighting the emerging challenges like polarization, populism, voter apathy faced by EMBs globally, emphasised the need for mutual cooperation, continuous engagement and knowledge sharing on a regular basis in a structured manner to address these challenges. He said there is need to develop global standards and SOPs on management of electoral roll, polling management, electoral technology, control of disinformation, fake news, cyber security and all related aspects in conduct of free, fair and transparent elections.
Shri Pandey said that efforts should be made to bring more and more democracies on board in a manner that involves and engages them in strengthening electoral democracy, Roles of the Partner organizations need to be redefined for more effective assistance to the needy EMBs for capacity building, he stressed.
During the last two days, three sessions were held. The first session on “current challenges faced by the EMBs” with respect to their role and framework to ensure “election integrity’ was chaired by the Electoral Commissioner of Mauritius. The session had presentations from Election Authorities in Mexico, Chile, Nepal and Greece.
The second session on ‘Future Challenges’ was 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 had presentations from representatives of the Australian Electoral Commission and COMELEC, Philippines.
The third session on ‘Capacity of EMBs’ was chaired by President and CEO IFES. The session had presentations from IFES Country Director (Sri Lanka and Bangladesh), Representative from UNDP and Head of the Department of Electoral Rolls and Results, Directorate of Elections Ministry of Interior, Hellenic Republic, Greece.