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Joint Statement on Election Support from the Embassies of Australia, Denmark, the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America

By Joint Statement on Election Support  •  March 4, 2015

from the Embassies of Australia, Denmark, the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America

The embassies of Australia, Denmark, the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America warmly welcome the political reforms that have occurred in Myanmar, particularly the Myanmar Government’s announcement that a general election will be held in late.

2015. The election will be an important milestone in Myanmar’s transition to democracy and an opportunity to reaffirm to the world its commitment to political reform. As development partners, we are supporting Myanmar’s efforts to prepare for the elections.

The 2015 election is the responsibility of the Myanmar government in partnership with its people, and its success will be measured by the integrity of the electoral process and an outcome that reflects the will of the people of this country. Credible, transparent, and inclusive electoral processes require long-term engagement with all stakeholders throughout the electoral cycle. We understand that building confidence in an election starts well before Election Day and includes confidence in the integrity of international election support.

Based on international best practice, Australia, Denmark, the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States are coordinating our donor support to government and non-government organizations in this electoral process. As donors and partners, we also commit to adhere to the principles of transparency, inclusiveness and equity. Our assistance aims to support and institutionalize the democratic process, and does not support any specific party or candidate.

Critical Steps to an Inclusive, Credible and Transparent Election: While not every donor is involved in each of the following activities, donor assistance is coordinated to address the following elements in the electoral process–

  • Promote international standards: We are providing the Union Election Commission (UEC) with technical support on international best practices as it relates to electoral administration, including an updated national voter list.
  • Establish a framework for election observation: We are supporting training and deployment of both domestic and international election observers to enhance transparency and build voter confidence in the integrity of the election. International experience shows that election observation can increase accountability, reassure voters, and help deter fraud and intimidation.
  • Strengthen the capacity of election stake-holders to promote democratic political competition: Our support is focused on capacity building to give stake-holders, which for some donors includes political parties, the tools they need to take part in the electoral process, and build

organizations that are responsive to the people. In compliance with Myanmar law, any support to political parties will continue to be offered to all parties equitably.1

  • Support civil society organizations and media organizations to improve voter education and participation in the elections: We are assisting civil society organizations as they continue to promote voter registration and conduct voter education campaigns. We are also supporting media training to help ensure accurate, impartial, and reliable information about the elections is widely available to the public.
  • Increase dialogue between all stakeholders: Our programming continues to encourage the UEC, civil society organizations, the media, and political parties to hold regular dialogues on the regulatory framework, organization, and management of the electoral process.

In addition to our targeted elections support, we will continue to promote a peaceful and inclusive election environment. Freedom of the media, freedom of expression, nondiscrimination, and protection of human and associated rights are central to a credible election process.

For further information on specific election-related program support:

Australia: http://dfat.gov.au/geo/burma/development-assistance/pages/development-assistance-in- burma.aspx

Denmark: www.myanmar.um.dk

European Union: Andreas Magnusson andreas.magnusson@eeas.europa.eu Norway: http://www.myanmar.norway.info/

Switzerland: https://www.eda.admin.ch/yangon

The United Kingdom: http://devtracker.dfid.gov.uk/countries/MM/

The United States of America: rangoon-press@state.gov

1 The European Union, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States are providing capacity-building assistance benefiting political parties.

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This post is in: Press Release

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