UNIORE concludes XV Conference with rejection and condemns of attacks on electoral bodies
Highlights the importance of budgetary independence in electoral entities
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Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.- The XV Conference of the Inter-American Union of Electoral Bodies (UNIORE) concluded this Tuesday with the Dominican Republic as host country, an event that coincided with the 30th anniversary of the entity that brings together 33 electoral bodies.
On this occasion, the event was under the pro tempore presidency of the Central Electoral Board (JCE) and the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), in a day that included two days of work and that brought together 52 delegates from more than 19 member countries.
La #UNIORE concluye #XVConferencia con rechazo y condena a los ataques a los órganos electorales y resalta la importancia de la independencia presupuestaria en entes electorales. pic.twitter.com/24alWPkBLI
— UNIORE (@UNIORE) November 2, 2021
After finishing the work, the document that includes 20 points agreed during the XV UNIORE Conference was signed.
Among the points agreed upon, UNIORE reiterated the convenience that electoral bodies have budgetary independence and that they be assigned according to the legislation the budget established by law, in order to adequately fulfill their mandate.
Likewise, UNIORE reaffirmed its commitment to authentic democracy, recognizing it as the only legitimate system with decisions always in accordance with the Constitution, laws and democratic values, which allows the development and political representation of the human being. Also, reiterate the call to defend and preserve it in the face of various emerging challenges.
The body rejected and condemned the attacks on the institutions of the rule of law and in particular on the electoral bodies. He categorically stated that a functional democracy requires solid, effective and robust structures.
UNIORE also expressed solidarity with the authorities of those member organizations that have seen their moral and physical integrity threatened in the performance of the functions assigned to them.
In addition, the member countries of UNIORE reiterated the importance of the independence and / or autonomy of electoral bodies in the Americas as an essential condition for the fulfillment of their work, in accordance with the legislation of each State.
In the final report of the XV UNIORE Conference, the international community, government authorities, political organizations, candidates for elected office and the media were exhorted to respect the decisions of the administrative and electoral jurisdictional bodies of their countries. and demand that the integrity and security of the electoral servers be guaranteed to fulfill their institutional mission under the precepts and democratic principles of independence, transparency, opportunity and electoral certainty.
UNIORE member countries reiterated their rejection of the siege that electoral bodies suffer from the construction and dissemination of false information, for which strategic alliances will be made to shield their members against these attacks.
UNIORE recognized the capacity of the electoral bodies that are members of the body in the face of the health crisis caused by covid-19 and the restrictions established to combat its contagion, in order to continue providing their services, organizing elections, resolving electoral conflicts and proclaiming elected authorities.
Another point is to highlight the value of comparative experience, horizontal cooperation and dialogue between electoral bodies, as a result of the health crisis, in order to derive lessons learned that feed new needs for repositioning in the face of changing realities.
UNIORE reaffirmed its commitment to advance and make visible the issues of equitable political participation and equal representation of women and promote actions against political gender violence.
Among the points, it was also established to activate horizontal cooperation between the communication departments of the member electoral bodies, for the development of communication strategies that allow to face intentional misinformation, present above all in social networks and the internet in general, and to approve the Observatory initiative Inter-American for the fight against misinformation presented by ONPE within the framework of this Conference, to establish strategic alliances with fact-checking organizations and social media platforms and share news verification experiences.
In this context, the intermediaries of the digital platforms and those responsible for the administration of social networks were urged, without prejudice to the guarantees for freedom of expression, to verify whether the content published in bulk from anonymous, false or automated (bots) manipulate information related to the electoral process.
In addition, strengthen the channels of exchange between schools and educational and training institutes of electoral bodies, to advance in possible actions aimed at enhancing the capacities of the population to distinguish the quality and accuracy of the information they receive.
UNIORE recognized that electoral observation is a mechanism for building and strengthening democracy, and reaffirming its role as a space for collaboration and support among peers.
The body, in its final report, also established to underline the importance of UNIORE's electoral observation expanding its scope and work modalities and, being a comprehensive observation of the electoral cycle that includes previous stages, as well as the resolution of controversies, establishing that "the electoral bodies hosting the missions must provide all the facilities to carry out this observation."
It was established to know the progress of the Project of the Training and Certification Center in the field of technical-electoral observation, aimed at authorities and officials of the UNIORE member organizations, presented before this Conference by the Electoral Tribunal of Panama.
Also take cognizance of the Agenda of Priorities 2021-2023 presented by the UNIORE Co-Presidency and the Executive Secretariat and instruct the Coordination and Follow-up Committee to consider it in order to integrate thematic working groups and build a roadmap. that defines the actions to be followed in the coming years.
Panama will host the XVI UNIORE Conference in 2023
Finally, the final report of the XV of the UNIORE Conference establishes in its point number twenty, to accept the offer of the Electoral Tribunal of Panama so that this country can host the XVI Conference of the Inter-American Union of Electoral Bodies to be held in the year 2023.
In addition, the Electoral Court of Justice of Honduras and the Office of the Electoral Comptroller of Puerto Rico were admitted as members of UNIORE.
Acknowledgments and thanks
The XV UNIORE Conference held in the Dominican Republic paid posthumous tribute to Mr. Jorge Mario García La Guardia, CAPEL's first director, for being a forerunner of the integration of electoral bodies worldwide and marking a starting point for horizontal cooperation and strengthening of electoral bodies and democratic institutions.
Likewise, María Elena Wapenka, Minister of the Superior Court of Electoral Justice of Paraguay, was recognized for her contribution to this Association and the high human quality that has always distinguished her.
UNIORE expressed its gratitude to the highest national authorities of the Dominican Republic, in the person of Her Excellency Raquel Peña, Vice President of the Republic, and Lorenzo Córdova Vianello, President of the National Electoral Institute of Mexico, for their excellent opening speech.
The organization also thanked the Central Electoral Board and the Superior Electoral Court of the Dominican Republic, their presidents, Román Andrés Jáquez Liranzo and Ygnacio Pascual Camacho Hidalgo and their magistrates for the excellent organization, the generous and warm hospitality offered to the delegations. participants.
In addition, he thanked the officials of the Central Electoral Board and the Superior Electoral Tribunal of the Dominican Republic, for the excellent organization of the XV Conference of the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations, as well as the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIHR), through of its programmatic area the Center for Electoral Advice and Promotion (CAPEL), Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Union of Electoral Bodies, for the work carried out to strengthen the Union and for the support provided to the Central Electoral Board and the Superior Court Electoral of the Dominican Republic in the organization of this Conference.
The final document was signed by the delegates, representatives of the electoral bodies of Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Uruguay meeting during the XV Conference of the Inter-American Union of Electoral Bodies, held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on November 1 and 2, 2021, in our capacity as members of UNIORE.
Present at the XV UNIORE Conference in the DR
They were present at this XV UNIORE Conference, in addition to the co-hosts Román Andrés Jáquez Liranzo and Ygnacio Pascual Camacho Hidalgo, José Thompson Jiménez, executive director of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights / Electoral Advisory and Promotion Center, who exercises the Executive Secretariat of UNIORE ; the presiding counselor of the National Electoral Institute of Mexico, magistrate Lorenzo Córdova Vianello, as well as the members and titular judges of the two electoral bodies of the Dominican Republic.
In addition, there were the representatives of the 33 electoral bodies that make up UNIORE, of the political parties, as well as international guests and personalities of the multilateral organizations.
This year the XV UNIORE Conference included the keynote conference entitled "Challenges of Electoral Democracy and Institutionality" by Lorenzo Córdoba Vianello, of 4 plenary sessions, two panels on "Autonomy and independence of Electoral Bodies and the Importance for the strengthening of democratic institutions ”, as well as“ Disinformation and its consequences in electoral processes ”.
The plenaries were moderated by the pro tempore co-presidents of UNIORE, justices Román Jáquez Liranzo and Ygnacio Pascual Camacho Hidalgo, respectively.