Election Commission to Host Virtual Asian Regional Forum Meeting

New Delhi: The Electoral Commission (EC) will host a virtual meeting of the “Asian Regional Forum” on Thursday on the theme “Making our elections inclusive, accessible and participatory”.

The meeting is a precursor to the “Global Summit for Democracy” to be hosted by Mexico’s National Electoral Institute in the coming month, the polling panel said on Wednesday.

The global summit and regional forum aim to generate synergy between international organizations and electoral bodies around the world, and promote intellectual and institutional mobilization to strengthen electoral democracy, he said.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey will chair the Asian Regional Forum meeting. The meeting will be attended by election management bodies from Mexico, Mauritius, the Philippines, Nepal, Uzbekistan, the Maldives and representatives from International IDEA, the Association of World Electoral Bodies (A-WEB ) and the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES).

Within the framework of the World Summit for Democracy, five regional forums – Africa, America, Asia, Europe and countries of the Arab States – have been created. India is hosting the meeting of the Asian Regional Forum of Election Management Bodies not only to institutionalize and mobilize them as a precursor to the World Summit for Democracy, but also to reflect on evolving geopolitics, emerging technologies and their use in the management of elections in view of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outcomes of the regional forum meetings aim to generate an action plan and agenda for strengthening democracy around the world, in particular through robust electoral processes, the EC said.

So far, three regional forum meetings for Europe, America and Africa have taken place during the months of June and July 2022, the polling panel pointed out.

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Melvin B. Baillie