The fourth general assembly of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) is being hosted by the Election Commission of India in Bengaluru on September 3. On the same day, India will take over as the chair of A-WEB for 2019-21. Chief election commissioner Sunil Arora will preside over the general assembly.
The deliberations will include discussions on challenges and furthering partnership among election management bodies (EMB) and programmes to be undertaken by A-WEB in 2019-20.
- Over 120 participants from 50 countries will participate in various A-WEB events, from September 2 to 4. This is said to be the largest congregation of EMB delegates in India.
- ECI has been closely associated with A-WEB since 2011-12 and has been an executive board member.
- ‘One nation one election’ issue will be the focus at the assembly, many countries are striving to do that and many have already done it. These things which will be discussed, but no certain decision is taken in one day. It will be a progressive step if all discuss it.
- Pointing out that ECI is one of the founders of A-WEB, its secretary-general Yong-Hi Kim said the organisation is “like the United Nations in the election field, for the world”.
- On September 4, an international conference on ‘Initiatives and challenges of social media and information technology in elections’ has been organised. Representatives from 11 countries — Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cameroon, Malawi, Mauritius, Palestine, Romania, Russia, Sierra Leone and Togo — will make presentations.
- This issue has to be addressed. Social media is a part of our challenges. A committee was formed in India a year before the recent general election to tackle such challenges.
- The Association of World Election Bodies, commonly referred to as ‘A-WEB,’ was established on October 14, 2013 in Song-do, South Korea.
- A-WEB is the first global organization of election management bodies, and the membership currently consists of 97 organizations from 94 countries.
- Under the slogan of ‘Democracy to Grow for All Worldwide,’ the A-WEB Secretariat provides training programs for election officials of member nations and undertakes country programs at the request of member organization, providing support during the election cycle to boost election management capacity.
- The National Election Commission of the Republic of Korea first proposed the creation of a global election management body institution to the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA) in 2010.
- After a series of Working Group meetings, a Charter was drawn up and the name A-WEB was chosen upon the suggestion of the Election Commission of India.