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Election observation experts return to Commonwealth headquarters

26 November 2018

The Commonwealth will host representatives from some of the leading organisations engaged in international election observation later this week. These organisations are being brought together to examine trends and emerging issues faced by international observers.

The 13th Implementation Meeting of the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation will take place from 29-30 November 2018. Former heads of state and senior officials from 29 organisations will consider topics ranging from the evolving mandate of election observation missions to the increasing use of ICT in elections and the implications for observers.

The Declaration of Principles was adopted in 2005 to establish a shared basis for credible election observation by international bodies. The Commonwealth hosted the first implementation meeting in 2006, bringing together endorsing organisations to advance discussions on improving and harmonising approaches to observation. The meetings have been held annually ever since.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “It is really encouraging that 12 years on from the inaugural Implementation Meeting of the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation was convened here at Marlborough House, the Commonwealth will again be hosting the gathering.

“The conduct of elections is constantly changing and the Commonwealth places great emphasis on working closely with other leaders in the field of international election observation to maintain the highest standards in this important area of work – in which we are widely acknowledged to have been a pioneer.”

Election observation has long been a key part of the Commonwealth’s work in advancing democratic values in member countries. New observation guidelines, which reflect the Declaration of Principles and the latest best practice, were adopted earlier this year at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.

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