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The 4th General Assembly of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) for the year 2019 held in Bengaluru

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) hosted the 4th General Assembly of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) for the year 2019. It was held in Bengaluru, Karnataka from September 2-4, 2019. India took over as A-WEB’s Chair for the 2019-21 term.

  • The General Assembly meeting was presided by the Chief Election Commissioner of India Shri Sunil Arora.
  • The meeting of the Executive Board of A-WEB was held on September 2, 2019.General Assembly of the Association of World Election Bodies

More than 120 Participants from over 50 countries across the world participated in the event.

Detailed considerations were made on Challenges and future of furthering partnership amongst Election Management Bodies (EMBs); appointment of office bearers; programmes and activities to be undertaken by A-WEB during 2020, etc.

Role of ECI in A-WEB

  • ECI has been associated with the process of formation of A-WEB since 2011-12.
  • It has been its Executive Board Member since AWEB’s inception in October 2013 for two consecutive terms – 2013-15 and 2015-17.
  • At the A-WEB General Assembly which was held in Bucharest, Romania on August 31, 2017, Romania took over as Chair and ECI was unanimously elected as Vice-Chair of A-WEB for 2017-19.
  • ECI will continue to remain on the Executive Board of A-WEB for 2021-23 in its capacity as immediate former Chair of A-WEB.

Conference on “Initiatives and Challenges of Social Media and Information Technology in Elections”
On September 4, 2019, An International Conference on “Initiatives and Challenges of Social Media and Information Technology in Elections” was  held in Bengaluru. 11 countries namely Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia – Herzegovina, Cameroon, Malawi, Mauritius, Palestine, Romania, Russia, Sierra Leone and Togo participated in the event and made their presentations on the subject.

Executive Board of AWEB 2017-19
It has 21 members- Dominican Republic is the Immediate Past Chair; 5 members from Africa, namely Burkina Faso, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi & Tunisia; 4 members from America -Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador & Paraguay; 4 members from Asia – Bangladesh, Palestine, Taiwan & Uzbekistan; 3 members from Europe – Albania, Belarus & Croatia and Fiji as the member from Oceania.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India, Shri Sunil Arora assumed the Chairmanship of Association of World Election Bodies (AWEB) for the term 2019-21. India took over the Chair from Romania. The AWEB Flag was handed over to the new Chairman, Shri Sunil Arora by the Representative of Outgoing Chair, Mr. Ion Mincu Radulescu, Advisor, Permanent Election Authority Romania. It will remain with ECI for the 2 year term till 2021.
Other office bearers are as follows:

Vice ChairmanMr. Glen Vuma Mashinini, Chairperson of Election Commission of South Africa
Secretary GeneralMr Jonghyun Choe, from the Republic of Korea
Executive BoardEMBs from Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Oversight and Audit CommitteeEMBs from Burkina Faso, Mauritius and Samoa
MembersEMBs from Ukraine, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Political Parties Registration Commission of Sierra Leone, Indonesia and Mauritius
Associate MemberAssociation of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA)

Outgoing Representatives
Following were the outgoing representatives:

  • Outgoing Chairman- Mr. Constantin – Florin Mituletu – Buica, Hon’ble President of the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania.
  • Outgoing Secretary General- Mr. Yong-Hi Kim.

Launch of ECI’s quarterly magazine – ‘VOICE International’
CEC of India, Shri Sunil Arora along with the two Election Commissioners of India Shri Ashok Lavasa and Shri Sushil Chandra and Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Umesh Sinha launched ECI’s quarterly magazine – ‘VOICE International’. It shares best practices from over 25 Countries.

AWEB Centre

  • An AWEB Centre will be setup at the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM), New Delhi. It will facilitate in  documentation, research and training; for sharing best practices and capacity building among the member EMBs of the Association.
  • The Institute has conducted over 750 training programmes for over 27,000 election officials in India along with the organisation of 62 International Capacity Building Programmes for over 1165 election officials from 96 countries.
  • Standard training modules for National & International participants are developed by a team of Indian and International experts.

India’s Election Commission officials met their South Korean counterparts on the sidelines of the 4th General Assembly of A-WEB.

  • Mr. Kwon Soon-il, Chairperson National Election Commission of the Republic of Korea met Mr. Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner of India and discussed bilateral matters of mutual interest.
  • Sunil Arora, along with other senior officials, held a bilateral meeting with the President of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES), Anthony Banbury, during a meeting of the Executive Board of the A-WEB.

About A-WEB:
♦ It is the largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide.
♦ It was established on October 14, 2013 in Song-do, South Korea.
♦ The permanent secretariat of A-WEB is located at Seoul, South Korea.
♦ It’s vision is to foster efficiency and effectiveness in conducting free, fair, transparent and participative elections worldwide.
♦ It has 120 EMBs from 111 countries as its Members and 21 International Organisations as Associate Members.