At the Commemoration Ceremony for a new set of principles, as well as a Code of Conduct, for international elections observation at the UN on October 27th, 2005, Ambassador Fernando Valenzuela will speak on behalf of the European Commission, one of the major international organizations active in observing elections around the world, and a key supporter for these new international principles.
His remarks will follow those of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former US President Jimmy Carter (for The Carter Center) and former US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright (for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs).
Genuine elections are an essential foundation for sustainable development and a functioning democracy. And support to election processes has become a key component of the European Union’s external relations policy, where it is in a unique position to contribute to elections monitoring through its global outreach, as well as its strict adherence to the principles of independence, consistency, credibility and professionalism — the very principles contained in the Declaration being commemorated.
In 2005, the EU Election Monitoring Missions (EOMs) were deployed to the West Bank/Gaza, Guinea Bissau, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Lebanon; EU EOMs are still in the field in Afghanistan, Liberia and Sri Lanka; and further missions are being prepared for elections in Venezuela, Haiti, West Bank/Gaza and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The new standards commit endorsing organizations to act impartially, monitor all stages of the election process, and accept no funding from host governments. They also establish prerequisites that must be met for international observation, including freedom of movement, freedom to make public statements and free access to information.