Without credible elections peacebuilding activities cannot take place

Sep 3, 2015

New York – Credible and inclusive elections are at the core of UNDP’s electoral assistance and a main strategy in the UN’s efforts to prevent electoral violence and conflict, a UNDP Executive Board Side Event heard today.

“Without credible elections peacebuilding activities cannot take place, while support to the electoral cycle helps to secure peace and lays the foundations for development,” said Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, at the side event Electoral Assistance in Post-Conflict and Transitional Contexts, co-hosted by Spain and Tunisia.

Through the Global Project for Electoral Cycle Support (GPECS) established in 2009, UNDP has provided more than 960 advisory services to Election Management Bodies and UNDP country offices and strengthened the capacities of approximately 4,000 electoral stakeholders. It has also provided direct financial support to 18 country-level projects in Africa, the Arab States and Asia.

Counsellor of the Spanish Permanent Mission to the UN, Mr. Luis Martinez Montes, stated: “The need of the presence of international community is felt even more in the recent elections. It is people who make elections legitimate but the international community can help to make it credible.”

H.E. Ambassador of Tunisia to the UN, Mohamed Khaled Khiari presented the experience of the 2014 presidential elections in Tunisia as one of the best examples of the UNDP supported Electoral Assistance Project.

At the meeting, UNDP highlighted best practices of enhancing the capacity of electoral management bodies to mainstream gender, provide training and develop tools to enhance knowledge on women’s electoral and political participation, alongside the need to provide support to develop gender sensitive electoral procedures.

UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Arab States, Sima Bahous, said: “UNDP provides assistance in the implementation of electoral processes in approximately 60-70 countries per year through its Country Offices at the national level. The projects at the country level are complemented through the UNDP GPECS, our main tool to deliver electoral support at the global, regional and national level.”

Highlighting on the coordinated efforts on the ground, Martínez-Solimán stated the important partnership of UNDP with other UN department and agencies, such as DPA, DPKO, UN Women and UN OHCHR. He added: “We support the mandates of the political and peacekeeping missions and demonstrate the effectiveness of combining the UN’s development and peace and security arms. By working closely with colleagues in the Department for Political Affairs, we combine operational capacity, technical and political support to maximum effect.”

UNDP’s GPECS phase II (2015-2017) aims to provide countries with ‘seed’ financing when they most need it, serving as a catalyst for more sizeable contributions by donors at country level, a model that has proved successful in Tunisia. The second phase of the project aims to raise a total of US$38 million and has already secured contributions from Sweden for the Arab region.

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