|A-WEB 10th ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE
|Last updated 2023-12-05
A-WEB 10th ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE:A LOOK BACK AND A LOOK AHEAD
The Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) held its 10th anniversary conference in Incheon, South Korea, on October 12. The conference was organized to promote understanding of global democracy, enhance A-WEB's standing as an international organization, and strengthen ties between member and partner organizations.
In person, former A-WEB Chairs and Founding Members from South Africa, India, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a new member EMB in Lesotho attended. Online, 121 A-WEB members and 20 partner organizations participated.
In commemorating the A-WEB's 10th anniversary, the Secretariat surveyed member organizations to analyze A-WEB's activity performance and plan future policies and projects tailored to member organizations. As a result, respondents said that A-WEB, as the largest international organization in the field of election management, is expected to promote networking opportunities among Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of each country and to engage in more active activities as a platform for the exchange of knowledge, experience and expertise in election management, learning from each other.
In his opening remarks, A-WEB Secretary General In-sik Jang said, "We started with the ambitious vision of improving the efficiency of election management, conducting free, fair, transparent, and inclusive elections around the world. This conference is an extraordinary opportunity for all A-WEB members and partner organizations to reflect on our journey over the past ten years."
Ms. Rita Taeryung Lee, Deputy Director of A-WEB's Publicity Department, said that the organization is promoting the exchange of knowledge and information on election management by establishing online and offline platforms. Online platforms for member organizations include a monthly newsletter, annual report, and official website. The A-WEB online platforms have shared over 900 cases of election management and electoral data, including contributions from members and partners. Offline platforms include joint projects with member organizations and specialized election ICT training. She encouraged every member EMB to be an EVANGELIST of A-WEB to make the Association stronger.
Dr. Seung Kim, Director of the External Relations Department, presented the results of a survey of A-WEB members and partners. The survey was conducted with 53 member EMBs and three partner organizations. The questionnaire consisted of four sections, including questions about the organization and membership, policy, programs and activities, and communication.
The survey results showed that member satisfaction was more than 90%, with members expressing satisfaction with A-WEB's Election Capacity Building Programs and observation programs. When asked about the most useful activities, members and partners said that the Election Capacity Building Programs and observation programs were the most useful. Partner organizations evaluated their partnerships with A-WEB as mutually beneficial and impactful. They also highly regarded A-WEB's ability to promote knowledge exchange and capacity-building initiatives.
The second session of the conference discussed future development directions and strategies.
Mr. Toni Grebla, President of the Permanent Electoral Authority (PEA) Romania, also praised the organization's work to promote democracy worldwide. He praised the effectiveness of A-WEB's programs, saying that the organization's network is helping to promote democracy around the world.
Mr. Ion Mincu, Director of External Affairs Directorate noted that PEA Romania is one of A-WEB's founding members and served as the organization's chair from 2017 to 2019. He also said that A-WEB's network has helped to increase transparency, effectiveness, professionalism, and commitment to democratic values in election management.
Mr. Samir Chami Isa, Member of the JCE Dominican Republic, said that A-WEB has played a vital role in supporting free, fair, and transparent elections in Latin America. Chami Isa noted that the JCE has requested A-WEB observer missions to its own elections, and has also sent observers to elections in Ecuador, Guatemala, and Colombia. He said that A-WEB observer missions can be composed of experts from 111 countries around the world, and that their reports provide valuable recommendations for improving electoral processes and management. Chami Isa also stressed the importance of international election observation to protect democracy. He said that A-WEB is essential in this regard.
The Member of the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms. Vanja Bjelica-Prutina, congratulated A-WEB on its 10th anniversary and expressed her gratitude for the dedication of the A-WEB Secretariat under challenging circumstances. She particularly thanked the Secretariat for its efforts to strengthen the capacity of member organizations and for sharing all the information.
The delegation of the Election Commission of India highlighted its key achievements, such as the publication of the A-WEB India Journal of Elections and the Master's Program in International Electoral Management and Practices (MIEMP). It stated that the A-WEB Center in India aims to become a world class global knowledge and resource center.
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