The Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy “draws on existing cooperation between and among Regional Organizations and International IDEA and builds on the spirit of the January 2010 Retreat convened by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to promote inter-regional cooperation.”
It recognizes that individual and joint experiences of the Regional Organizations on democracy and related issues constitute a unique and valuable resource.
The African Union (AU) is an intergovernmental organization consisting of 53 African states. It was established in 2002 as a successor to the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The AU's secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The European Union (EU) is a unique economic and political partnership between 27 democratic European member countries. Its three main institutions are the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission, all of which are located in Brussels.
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation. It was founded in 1949 and has 47 member states with some 800 million citizens.
The League of Arab States (LAS) is an intergovernmental organization of 22 Arab states in Southwest Asia, and North and Northeast Africa. It was formed in 1945. The General Secretariat is located in Cairo, Egypt.
The Organization of American States (OAS) was, it its modern shape, formed in 1948. It consists of 35 states in the Americas and the Caribbean. The OAS General Secretariat is located in Washington D.C., USA.
The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is a political grouping of 16 independent and self-governing states. It was founded in 1971 as the South Pacific Forum. In 2000, the name was changed to the Pacific Islands Forum to better reflect the geographic location of its members in the north and south Pacific. The Secretariat is based in Suva, Fiji.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economic and political organization of eight countries in South Asia. SAARC was established in 1985 by India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan. In April 2007, Afghanistan became its eighth member. The SAARC Secretariat is based in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights is the African human rights instrument. The Charter was adopted by the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU) on 7 June, 1981 and it entered into force on 21 October 1986. The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights is a comprehensive human rights instrument covering civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights.
African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (also called the ACRWC or Children's Charter) was adopted by the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU), in 1990 and entered into force in 1999. The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child is a comprehensive instrument that covers rights, universal principles and norms for the status of children.
Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights
The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights established the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights (African Court). The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights was adopted by Member States of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU) in June 1998. The Protocol entered into force on 25 January 2004. The first Judges of the African Court were elected in January 2006, in Khartoum, Sudan.
Lomé Declaration on the framework for an OAU response to unconstitutional changes of government
The Lomé Declaration of July 2000 on the framework for an OAU response to unconstitutional changes of government (Lomé Declaration) is a soft law instrument of the African Union to address unconstitutional changes of government. The Lomé Declaration represents a comprehensive set of common values and principles for democratic governance and provides a definition of what constitutes an unconstitutional change of government; it also specifies the measures and actions which the OAU, now the African Union (AU), can take to respond to unconstitutional changes of government.
The Constitutive Act of the African Union is the founding document of the African Union. The Constitutive Act was adopted in 2000 at the Lomé Summit in Togo and entered into force in 2001. The Constitutive Act establishes the legal framework for the African Union and its organs such as the Assembly, the Executive Council, the Commission, the Permanent Representatives' Committee, the Peace and Security Council (PSC), the Pan-African Parliament, the Economic, Social and Cultural Council, the Court of Justice and the Specialized Technical Committees.
The OAU/AU Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa
The OAU/AU Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa has been adopted in Durban in 2002. This declaration recalls the Principles for Democratic Elections and the role and responsibilities of Member States in ensuring Democratic Elections. The Declaration also specifies how the OAU can strengthen democratization processes by observing and monitoring elections in its Member States. The Declaration sets guidelines on Electoral Observation.
Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the AU
The Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the AU was adopted in Durban in 2002 and entered into force in 2003. The Protocol establishes the Peace and Security Council as per Article 5(2) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union. The Peace and Security Council is a standing decision-making organ for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. The Protocol established the operative framework for the Council including its objectives, composition, functions, powers, procedures and funding.
African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption
The African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AU Convention) was adopted in Maputo on 11 July 2003. The Convention consists of mandatory provisions in the field of combating corruption. The Convention relates to the prevention, criminalization, international cooperation and asset recovery. The Convention covers a wide range of offences including bribery (domestic or foreign), diversion of property by public officials, trading in influence, illicit enrichment, money laundering and concealment of property.
Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa
The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa was adopted by the African Union on 11 July 2003 at its second summit in Maputo, Mozambique and entered into force on 25 November 2005. The Protocol guarantees a wide set of rights to women including the right to take part in the political process, to social and political equality with men, the control of their reproductive health, and the ban of female genital mutilation. The Protocol additionally makes special provisions for female refugees and calls for the promotion and maintenance of peace, as well as protection in times of armed conflict.
The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance
The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance was adopted on 30 January 2007 during the 8th ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa. Its objective is to strengthen the commitment of the Member States of the African Union in the fields of democracy protection, rule of law and human rights. In adopting the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the African Union aims at consolidating all past commitments made in declarations and decisions relating to democracy and governance. The Charter entered into force on 15 February 2012.
The ASEAN Charter serves as a firm foundation in achieving the ASEAN Community by providing legal status and institutional framework for ASEAN. It also codifies ASEAN norms, rules and values; sets clear targets for ASEAN; and presents accountability and compliance. It was adopted during the 13th ASEAN Summit in November 2007 and entered into force on December 2008. With the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter, ASEAN will henceforth operate under a new legal framework and establish a number of new organs to boost its community-building process.
The ASEAN Political Security Community Blueprint (APSC) was adopted by ASEAN Leaders during the 14th ASEAN Summit on March 2009. The blueprint provides a roadmap and a timetable to establish the ASEAN Political-Security Community by 2015. The APSC aims to bring ASEAN's political and security cooperation to a higher plane, ensuring that the peoples and Member States of ASEAN live in peace with one another and with the world at large in a just, democratic and harmonious environment. The APSC shall promote political development in adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, respect for and promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms as inscribed in the ASEAN Charter.
Established in May 1990, the European Commission for Democracy through Law - better known as the Venice Commission – acts as the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional matters. The Venice Commission is composed of constitutional and international law experts, supreme or constitutional court judges and members of national parliaments. It is dedicated to the promotion of Europe’s legal heritage and is now recognised as an international independent legal think-tank.
Valencia Declaration and Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level
The Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level is a practical instrument for improving governance at local level and the quality of local life as a result. The Strategy consists of twelve principles of Good Democratic Governance. The Strategy was launched during the Ministerial Conference in Valencia, Spain, where European Ministers responsible for Local and Regional Government endorsed the Strategy on Innovation and Good Governance (via the Valencia Declaration)
European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organisations CETS No.: 124
This defines the Council of Europe’s statutory relations with Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) through the International NGOs (INGOs) holding participatory status, known collectively as the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe. Through this participatory status, INGOs are now actively contributing to the decision-making process at the Council of Europe and to the implementation of its programmes, thus ensuring their relevance to the expectations of Europeans.
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its Protocols
The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, better known as the European Convention on Human Rights, was signed in Rome (Italy) on 4 November 1950 by 12 member states of the Council of Europe and entered into force on 3 September 1953. It was the first instrument to give effect and binding force to certain rights stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was also the first treaty to establish a supranational body to ensure that Parties fulfilled their undertakings. The Convention was a milestone in the development of international law. Once states had accepted that a supranational court could challenge decisions taken by their own courts, human rights de facto gained precedence over national legislation and practice. In order to join the Council of Europe, a State must first sign and ratify the European Convention on Human Rights.
Adopted by the Council for Democratic Elections at its 18th meeting (Venice, 12 October 2006) and the Venice Commission at its 68th plenary session (Venice, 13-14 October 2006), the Code of Good Practice on Referendums sets standards for the conduct of referendums in Europe.
Code of Good Practice in the field of Political Parties
The Code of Good Practice in the Field of Political Parties brings together the standards relating to political parties into one single document. This document, which is intended for the parties themselves and not the states, first recalls the guiding principles for political parties: rule of law, democracy, non-discrimination, transparency and openness.
Conclusions of the Presidency, European Council in Copenhagen
The Copenhagen membership criteria were laid down during the June 1993 European Council in held in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Presidency conclusions affirm that “Membership to the European Union requires that candidate countries have achieved stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, respect for and protection of minorities, the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union. Membership presupposes the candidate's ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union”. The Copenhagen criteria constitute the assessment criteria to establish if a country is eligible to join the European Union.
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union brings together into a single text all the personal, civic, political, economic and social rights enjoyed by people within the EU. The Charter , was drafted in 2000 but became legally binding across the EU only with the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on the 1st of December 2009.The EU institutions must respect the rights enshrined in the Charter.
The European Consensus on Development is a Joint statement by the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on European Union issued in February 2006. The European Consensus reflects the EU's willingness to eradicate poverty and build a more stable and equitable world. The European Consensus on Development identifies shared values, goals, principles and commitments which the European Commission and EU Member States will implement in their development policies, in particular in the areas of poverty reduction (focusing on the Millennium Development Goals), development based on Europe's democratic values and mobilization of domestic resources for development.
Council conclusions on Democracy Support in the EU's External Relations
The Council conclusions on Democracy Support in the EU's External Relations were approved by the Council of the European Union on 17 November 2009. The Conclusions on Democracy Support and the accompanying Agenda for Action, affirm Europe's commitment to democracy as a core value in its dealing with the outside world. The Conclusions recognize that ‘there is a need for a broader and more coherent approach' to democracy building and strive to improve the coherence, complementarity and coordination of existing EU policies. The Agenda for Action underlines how vital the dialogue with regional and international organizations is for democracy building processes and restates the commitment of the EU in continuing to support regional initiatives and in exploring possibilities to further strengthen its dialogue and support to regional and sub-regional organizations' working on democracy support including by examining the possibilities for setting up interregional platforms for exchange in this area.
The Treaty of the European Union, better known as Treaty of Lisbon, was signed on 13 December 2007 and entered into force on 1 December 2009. The treaty of Lisbon provides the EU with modern institutions and optimized working methods to tackle both efficiently and effectively today's challenges in today's world. In a rapidly changing world, Europeans look to the EU to address issues such as globalization, climatic and demographic changes, security and energy. The Treaty of Lisbon reinforces democracy in the EU and its capacity to promote the interests of its citizens on a day-to-day basis.
A New Response to a Changing Neighbourhood – A review of European Neighbourhood Policy
The renewed European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) was adopted on 24 May by High Representative Catherine Ashton and the European Commission and builds on the achievements since the Neighborhood Policy was first launched in 2004 responding to the aspirations of people for more democracy and prosperity. The new ENP offers new types of support for more sections of society, and introduces more incentives to pursue reform. It further develops the ‘Partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean', agreed in March 2011.
Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council: Human Rights and Democracy at the Heart of Eu External Action – towards a more Effective Approach
The objective of this Joint Communication from the European Commission and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the EU Parliament and the Council, dated December 2011, is to open a discussion on how to make the EU's external policy on human rights and democracy more active, more coherent and more effective. With a view to producing a step change in the EU's effectiveness, it sets out a vision of how the EU will broaden, deepen and streamline its action on the international scene to make a real difference to people's lives.
The Communication proposes action in four areas – delivery mechanisms, integrating policies, building partnerships, and speaking with one voice and it seeks the views of the Council and the European Parliament on how opportunities can be exploited and challenges can be addressed.
The Pact of the League of Arab States was signed in Cairo on 22 March 1945.It is the constituting document of the Arab League and sets out the legal framework for the operations of the League and the objectives of the organization. The purpose of the League is to draw closer the relations between member States and co-ordinate their political activities with the aim of realizing a close collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries.
The Tunis Declaration was issued at the 16th session of the Arab Summit, held in Tunis on May 22-23, 2004. The Leaders of the Arab States in this document assert their firm determination to endeavor, based on the Declaration on the process of reform and modernization in the Arab world, to pursue reform and modernization and to keep pace with the rapid world changes, by consolidating the democratic practice, by enlarging participation in political and public life and by fostering the role of all components of the civil society. The Leaders also endeavour to widen women's participation in the political, economic, social, cultural and educational fields and reinforcing their rights and status in society.
The Baghdad Declaration was adopted by the Arab Summit Conference XXIII, held in Baghdad on 29 March 2012. The Leaders of the Arab States in this document asserted their firm determination to adopt a comprehensive vision for political, economic and social reform . Further, The Declaration approved the Statute of the Arab Parliament. With regards to the political situation in Syria, the declaration emphasized full support for the aspirations and the legitimate demands of the Syrian people to freedom and democracy and the right to draw their own future. Finally the declaration emphasized the principles of respect for human rights, guaranteeing political rights and cultural and religious minorities and the need to allow institutions of civil society to participate actively.
The Charter of the Organization of the American States (better known the Charter of the OAS) is a Pan-American treaty and represents the founding document of the Organization of American States. The OAS Charter was signed at the Ninth International Conference of American States of 30 April 1948, held in Bogotá, Colombia and came into force on 13 December 1951. The OAS Charter sets out the nature and purposes of the OAS, as well as the organs of the organization.
The Inter-American Democratic Charter was adopted on 11 September 2001 by a special session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, held in Lima, Peru. The Inter-American Democratic Charter is a legal instrument with the central aim of promoting the right to democracy of the peoples of the Americas. The Charter sets out the obligation for the American governments to promote and defend democracy as essential for the social, political, and economic development of the peoples of the Americas. The Charter is a binding legal instrument for all 34 of the currently active OAS member states. The Charter spells out what democracy entails and specifies how it should be defended when it is under threat.
Challenges and Opportunities in Fostering Political Participation and Representation in Regional Organisations: A Case Study of ParlAmericas and the Organization of American States (OAS) Mathieu Tromme and Miguel Angel Lara Otaola
This paper analyses the mandates and functions, as well as the strengths of and challenges faced by ParlAmericas, both from an institutional point of view, as well as from the perspective of fostering political participation and representation. The paper argues that more should be done to evaluate the real impact of this forum, particularly to understand how debates, activities and recommendations issued by ParlAmericas take shape in national parliaments.
The Biketawa Declaration, issued in 2000, outlines guiding principles for good governance and courses of action for a regional response to crises in the Pacific region. The Biketawa Declaration also commits the members of the Pacific Island Forum to some key fundamental values including, among others, a “belief in the liberty of the individual under the law, in equal rights for all citizens regardless of gender, race, color, creed or political belief” and to “upholding democratic processes and institutions which reflect national and local circumstances, including the peaceful transfer of power”.
Agreement Establishing the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
The Agreement Establishing the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat adopted in Tarawa on 30 October 2000, is the constitutive treaty establishing the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat as an international organization enjoying legal personality in each of its sixteen member countries. This agreement has been reviewed by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders and will be terminated after the effective entry into force of the Agreement Establishing the Pacific Islands Forum adopted at Port Moresby on 27 October 2005.
In 2004, as part of a range of recommendations to reform the Forum, the Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum directed that its constitutive Agreement be reviewed to reflect the new purposes and functions of the Forum. The resulting new Agreement was opened for signature on 27 October 2005, and has been signed by all Forum members. The new Agreement will enter into force when it is ratified by all sixteen Forum members.
The Pacific Plan was endorsed by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at their Pacific Islands Forum Meeting in Port Moresby on October 2005. The Pacific Plan now forms the basis of ongoing strengthening of regional cooperation and integration efforts for the benefit of the people of the Pacific. At the regional level, implementation of the Pacific Plan is the responsibility of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The Pacific Plan proposes a new and innovative approach to the unique challenges that Pacific Island Countries face through a framework of greater regional cooperation and integration.
Political Governance and Security Programme Strategic Plan 2009-2011
The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat's Political Governance & Security Programme aims to give effect to the desire of the Pacific Islands Leaders and members for a secure and well-governed region. The principal focus of the Programme is the promotion and development of an understanding of the strategic elements of regional security and political integrity in the region, and the use of this expertise to assist its Members in appropriate national, subregional and regional responses to their key security and governance challenges.
The SAARC Charter is the establishing document of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation signed on December 8th 1985 by Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan (in 2007 when Afghanistan became the eighth member of SAARC). The SAARC Charter sets out the objectives and principles of the organization together with the institutional structure.
The SAARC Social Charter was signed by the SAARC Heads of States at the 12th Summit in Islamabad on 4th January 2004. The SAARC Social Charter, reaffirming that the principal goal of SAARC is to promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia, guarantees a wide set of rights in the fields of poverty alleviation, health, education, woman rights and rights of children.
The SAARC Charter of Democracy was adopted at the 33rd Council of Ministers Meeting held in Thimphu, Bhutan on 8-9 February 2011. The Charter gives expression to the collective commitment of the SAARC Member States to promote and preserve the values and ideals of democracy as well as democratic institution.
Development cooperation and electoral integrity in West Africa: Issues and prospects Kehinde A. Bolaji
The paper focuses on the electoral assistance efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) reflecting on the cooperation of ECOWAS with both the European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) to the enhance the quality of elections in ECOWAS member states.
Interregional Organizations and Election Integrity: Resolving Conflict and Promoting Democracy Emily Beaulieu
This paper proposes a set of general recommendations to improve regional organizations' efforts in promoting and protecting the integrity of elections. The recommendations focus on increasing available information during the pre-election period, and offering diplomatic engagement and mediation services in periods of post-election conflict.
Observing E-enabled Elections: How to Implement Regional Electoral Standards Jordi Barrat
The paper focuses on observing e-enabled elections. The paper describes the official documents that are currently available for assessing the state of the art in this field providing an overview of the different written international tools that form the current starting point for the observation of e-enabled elections.The paper also reflects on the challenges of observing e-enabled elections and proposes a set of forward looking policy recommendations.
Pacific Islands Forum election observation: An external perspective Slawomir Szyszka
This paper provides a detailed analysis of PIF involvement in election observation. Its main purpose is to present practical and forward-looking recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the PIF EOMs in supporting electoral processes.
Promoting Electoral Integrity in Southeast Asia: ANFREL and ASEAN Vanessa Johanson Alpern
This paper analyses the experience of the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) in elections observation, in particular looking at the strengths and weaknesses of this regional civil-society led initiative in contributing towards the development of democracy in Asia. Meanwhile, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is considering carrying out elections observation missions in the future. This paper looks at the progress of democratization in Southeast Asia; what ASEAN might learn from ANFREL's observation experience; and how official initiatives might complement civil society ones.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Rethinking Election Monitoring Judith Kelley
This paper draws on a Project on International Election Monitoring conduced by the author over the last six years. The paper discusses the project's findings and seeks to stimulate debate by highlighting several dilemmas facing election-monitoring organizations. It raises questions for further thought and suggests possible policy recommendations that flow from the project.
Why ‘Professionalizing’ International Election Observation Might Not be Enough to Ensure Effective Election Observation Halfdan Lynge-Mangueira
International election observation (IEO) is increasingly criticized for not adding much to the credibility of elections. This paper provides three options that IEO organizations could consider: to invest even more in domestic election observation; to harness the potential of modern technology; and to mobilize the power of perceptions. The three options should not be seen as alternatives but as potential low-cost complements to IEO missions.
Reflections on African Union Electoral Assistance and Observation Shumbana Karume and Eleonora Mura
This paper provides a holistic overview of the work of the African Union (AU) in the field of democratization, focusing in particular on election observation and electoral assistance. It describes the evolution of the legal and institutional framework for the AU's work in the field of democratization, and reflects on recent AU initiatives and policy orientations.
Giving ASEAN a Role in Philippine Elections: The Case for Regional Participation in Deepening Democratization Processes Julio S. Amador III
This paper advocates a role for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the conduct of elections in its member states by highlighting ASEAN's commitments to deepening democracy and achieving good governance in the proposed ASEAN Community. Using the Philippines as an example of a member state in which ASEAN might play a role as an observer of the conduct of national elections, it advances the view that ASEAN could act as an intermediary for electoral praxis and technology. The first Election Observation Mission conducted by ASEAN to Myanmar in April 2012 may have started this process, but there is as yet no institutionalization of such practice in ASEAN.
The Evolution of Election Observation in the European Union: From Fraud Prevention to Democracy Support Domenico Tuccinardi, Franck Balme and Gillian McCormack
The aim of this work is to highlight some of the key developments in election observation in the European
Union since 2000, and the emergence of Election Observation as a democracy support instrument in EU
external policy. The paper also discusses how and whether Election Observation can remain an effective part
of the EU strategy for democracy promotion in the post-Lisbon Treaty setting.
The League of Arab States and the Electoral Gap Amor Boubakri
This paper describes the efforts of the Arab League with regard to electoral processes in the Arab
region putting forward also a number of proposals for the future role of the Arab League in election
observation and assistance after the Arab revolutions which have deposed autocratic regimes in order to build
democratic rule. The paper,also cites on the relationship between elections and democratization in the Arab
region—a topic of worldwide concern in the decade since the events of 11 September 2001.
The Responsibility to Expose: The Role of OAS Electoral Observation Missions in the
Promotion of the Political Rights of Women
This paper describes the standardized methodology developed by the Organization of American States
(OAS) to incorporate a gender perspective into its election observation efforts. The methodology allows the
OAS to assess, as well as contribute to, the full and equal participation of women and men in the electoral
process at all levels with the overall objective of identifying and exposing the barriers that still exist to full
equal political participation in a given country, within the context of the electoral process observed.
Quality Management Systems and their Contribution to the Integrity of Elections María T. Mellenkamp and Pablo Gutiérrez
This paper explores the work of the Organization of American States (OAS) relating to the new policy
instruments developed to build and strengthen the institutional capacities of the Electoral Management
Bodies (EMBs) in the region. In particular, the paper focuses on the implementation of quality
management systems (QMS) into electoral bodies, which ends with the certification of processes or
structures under the international standard ISO 9001.
Election Observation by the Pacific Islands Forum: Experiences and Challenges Henry Ivarature
This paper focuses on the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) and its work on Election Observation focusing on three case studies describing Election Observation Mission (EOM) practices in the Solomon Islands, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and Nauru. The case studies were selected because they account for nine of the 17 EOMs deployed by the PIF. The paper also discusses election observation processes and challenges, making some suggestions to improve observation practice and exploring a framework for following up on EOMs recommendations.
Giving the ASEAN Inter- Parliamentary Assembly a Voice in the ASEAN Community Imelda Deinla
This paper discusses how the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly could develop a more active role in accelerating regional integration and also democratic legitimacy, including fostering inclusive representation and participation in ASEAN.
The African Union’s Mechanisms to Foster Gender Mainstreaming and Ensure Women’s Political Participation and Representation Olga Martin
This paper analyses the African Union’s (AUs) mechanisms to foster gender mainstreaming and women’s political participation and representation in supranational/regional decision-making by evaluating the AU’s capabilities and potential, and reflects on areas of cooperation on these issues between the AU, EU and UN. Challenges are identified and policy recommendations proposed for the promotion of inclusive political participation and representation.
The Significance of the European Citizens’ Initiative for Pan-European Participatory Democracy Luis Bouza García
The paper discusses the origins and development of the European Citizens Initiative (ECI), fully entered into force on 1 June 2012. The paper further discusses the significance of the ECI as an example of a transnational participatory democracy mechanism and tries to understand whether the ECI is effectively causing the increased inclusiveness and outreach to citizens that have been anticipated.
Together We Can Achieve More: The Role of Civil Society Organizations in the Organization of American States Jorge Sanin and Eric Ambrose
This Chapter aims at providing an overview of the process leading to the development of the Guidelines for the Participation of Civil Society Organizations in Organization of American States (OAS) Activities and the creation of the Register of Civil Society Organizations in the OAS. The Chapter also cites three specific case-studies featuring the implementation of the guidelines and providing concrete examples of civil society engagement: during the negotiations prior to the adoption of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, at the annual OAS General Assembly and in the Follow-up Mechanism for the implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.
The Pacific Islands Forum and its Engagement with Civil Society Organizations Henry Ivarature
This Chapter presents the mechanisms set up by the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) to allow Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to participate in its regional decision-making processes. It also discusses the efforts made by CSOs to engage more actively with both PIF leaders and the PIF Secretariat.
The Role of Epistemic Communities in Building an Inclusive ASEAN Political and Security Community: The Case of ASEAN-ISIS Mely Caballero-Anthony
This Chapter features the active engagement of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ASEAN-ISIS) and its contribution to promoting multilateral political and security cooperation within and outside ASEAN. It also discusses the role that ASEAN-ISIS plays in promoting democracy through its support for ASEAN’s Political and Security Community, and its support of and advocacy for human rights protection and promotion in Southeast Asia in particular.
SAARC: A Step Forward, Women’s Inclusive Political Participation Indu Tuladhar
This Chapter analyses SAARC initiatives on women’s empowerment and the SAARC agenda on women’s issues. It highlights the progress made and the challenges SAARC still faces in promoting women’s empowerment at the regional level.
The League of Arab States and Gender: Political Participation and the Arab Woman Doaa Abdelaal and Eleonora Mura
This Chapter focuses on the role the League of Arab States (LAS) has played in fostering gender equality and gender mainstreaming. In particular, it examines the different milestones in the organization of mechanisms inside the LAS by examining the different activities implemented so far. The Chapter also highlights a series of policy recommendations for the way forward.
From Marginalization to Mainstreaming: A Guide to Gendering the European Union in 40 Easy Steps Joyce Marie Mushaben
This Chapter provides an overview of the key concepts, legal developments and strategies that have enabled women in the European Union (EU) to participate ever more actively in the paid labour market and in political decision making. The chapter also presents a potential ‘how-to’ guide to incorporating the principles of gender equality into a wide assortment of regional and international organizations.
The Role of the Pan-African Parliament in Promoting Inclusive Political Participation and Representation in Africa Frank Kayitare
This Chapter looks at the mission and objectives of the Pan African Parliament (PAP). The Chapter also analyses the PAP institutional and functional features, which are critical to performing its role of promoting political participation and representation in Africa, including political diversity and gender representation in its composition and work.
Political Participation, Representation and the Subsidiarity Principle: The Case of National and Sub-national Regional Parliaments in the European Union after Lisbon Pierre Schmitt, Dr Tom Ruys and Dr Axel Marx
This Chapter explores the potential for greater involvement in the European Union (EU) decision-making process by national and sub-national bodies and the challenges faced by these actors in the context of monitoring subsidiarity. In particular, it focuses on the important role and responsibility of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), which has been granted an enhanced role in relation to subsidiarity by the Lisbon Treaty.
Learn as We Go: The European Union’s Involvement in Constitution Building in the Post-conflict Western Balkans Artak Galyan
Ethnic conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter Bosnia), the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (hereinafter Macedonia) and Kosovo erupted one after another following the break-up of Yugoslavia. The severity of the unfolding crises, the likelihood of spillover in the region and the immediate danger the conflicts presented for neighbouring European Union (EU) member countries induced the EU to become extensively involved in state building and conflict management in three countries. … The EU extensively engaged in the post-conflict reconstruction of all three countries. The key to creating peaceful, democratic and multi-ethnic societies is helping build new constitutions that create inclusive institutional structures that are able to accommodate the grievances of the cleavage groups and eliminate incentives for renewed conflict.
The African Union and Kenya’s Constitution-Building Process Mugambi Laibuta
This paper analyses the constitution-building process that took place between 2008 and 2010 [in Kenya], particularly the role and involvement of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) and Commission. … The analysis begins with the 2005 African Peer Review Mechanism’s (APRM) monitoring mission in Kenya, and traces the journey of Kenya’s constitution from the 2005 referendum through the 2007–08 post-election violence and the resulting AU Dialogue and Reconciliation process.
The paper also examines the role of non-Kenyan experts in the constitution-building process, and whether future processes should have similar frameworks. It assesses the AU mediation team’s role after drafting the constitution, and how the team fit within Kenya’s new legal and power structure. The main questions are when the AU team ended its facilitation role in Kenya, and whether or not it truly represented the voice of the AU. The paper also explores whether, when and how the AU should take part in constitution-building processes.
Competing Regionalisms? The Role of the OAS and UNASUR in Bolivia’s Constitution-Drafting Process Aries A. Arugay and Gustavo Xavier Bonifaz Moreno
Regional organizations have made significant progress in promoting democratic norms such as human rights, good governance, rule of law and accountability. In the Americas, the Inter-American Democratic Charter (IADC), enacted by the Organization of American States (OAS), is a clear manifestation of member states’ formal commitment to collectively defend democratic principles and ideals. However, various factors since the end of the Cold War changed the context for regionalism in the hemisphere. Due to the evolving politico-economic landscape at the domestic and regional levels, OAS now shares the stage with other regionalist projects such as Mercado Común del Sur with the Rio Group, and more recently with the Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (ALBA), the Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (UNASUR) and the recently created Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC). The emergence of regional non-state actors such as the Carter Center, the Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the Club of Madrid add to the complexity. These developments offer a unique set of challenges for the relatively nascent democracy promotion regime in the Americas, which the OAS has carefully built over the years. This paper examines the role of OAS and UNASUR in democracy promotion in the Americas, particularly its interventions in the 2008 constitution-drafting process in Bolivia.
The Role of the Organization of American States in Promoting Democracy Denisse Rodriguez Olivari
The 2001 Inter-American Democratic Charter (IADC) was the culmination of a series of efforts to consolidate democracy, and the result of responses and sanctions to address institutional breakdowns in the Americas. Its key feature is the ability to apply sanctions on states that violate democratic norms. In this sense, the IADC—like every democracy clause—is a provision (or set of provisions) in an international instrument that subjects the admission, participation or permanence in certain organizations, and/or the maintenance of diplomatic, economic or cooperation relations among signatory parties, to the obligation that each state has a democratic system of government in place (El-Hage 2010, p. 1). …
This paper proceeds as follows. The first section provides a brief note on the state of democracy in the region and an analysis of what constitutes an application of the democracy clause. The second part examines the limitations of its implementation while presenting two case studies of OAS interventions during democratic breakdowns. The final part critically assesses the role of the organization as a gatekeeper of democracy and constitutional order in the Americas, and offers preventive and corrective policy recommendations for an established criteria and swift responses to threats to democracy.
A Strong Norm for Democratic Governance in Africa Julia Leininger
Non-acceptance of unconstitutional change of government (UCG) has become a central African norm since 1995. For decades, non-interference in state affairs characterized politics in the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and became a cornerstone of inter-African relations (Williams 2007). Against this historical backdrop, it is remarkable that the obligation to reject UCG was incorporated into the 2002 Constitutive Act of the OAU’s successor, the African Union (AU) (African Union 2000, art. 4p; 30). By referring to its member states’ constitutional order and demanding democratic governance, the AU Charter touches African political regimes at their core. Nevertheless, African heads of state and the AU developed this governance norm further and met the regional organization’s normative requirements by intervening in most cases of UCG after the AU’s creation in 2002.AU member states agreed to further legalize and specify the norm of non-acceptance of UCG by adopting (in 2007) and ratifying (in 2012) the African Charter on Elections, Governance and Democracy (Henceforth African Democracy Charter) (African Union 2007).
The Role of the African Union in Strengthening the Rule of Law and Constitutional Order in Africa George Mukundi Wachira
Chapter 1 discusses the contribution of the African Union (and its predecessor, the Organization for African Unity) in strengthening good governance and consolidating democracy by upholding the rule of law and constitutional order among its member states. In particular, it focuses on the standards and norms that provide AU member states with the framework to uphold constitutionalism and the rule of law. While recognizing the AU’s achievements in this area. The chapter also highlights ways in which the African Union could do more to support its members.
The Arab League and the Rule of Law Hesham Youssef
Chapter 2 focuses on describing how the League of Arab States has broadly addressed issues relating to the rule of law in the Arab region. Given recent developments and calls for reform, the League of Arab States needs to undertake this in a more comprehensive and coherent manner. The Chapter looks closely at the institutions, legal instruments and initiatives of the League of Arab States in constitution building, developing judiciaries, protecting human rights and fighting corruption. It analyses the progress that has been achieved so far and proposes recommendations to help promote the rule of law in the Arab world.
The Organization of American States: The Rule of Law and Legal Cooperation Department of Legal Cooperation, Secretariat for Legal Affairs, Organization of American States
Chapter 3 discusses how the Organization of American States became an authority in the defense of representative democracy in the Americas. It also highlights the rule of law mechanisms it has set up to promote legal and judicial cooperation and fight corruption.
Promoting the Rule of Law, Democratic Governance and Human Rights in the Pacific: the Role of the Pacific Islands Forum Lorraine Kershaw
Chapter 4 describes the experience of the Pacific Islands Forum in the articulating of a set of shared principles and values, which include commitments to the rule of law, democratic governance and respect for human rights. This chapter introduces the Pacific Islands Forum oversight functions and examines its work in the development of legal frameworks, the facilitation of law enforcement, ratification of international human rights treaties, and advancing integration among legal and accountability institutions.
Not Nudging, Embracing: The ASEAN Human Rights Declaration as a Catalyst for Reinforcing a Rights-based Approach to Constitutionalism Michelle Staggs Kelsall and Christoph Sperfeldt
Chapter 5 assesses the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration and its potential for instituting the Universality of Human Rights in South-east Asia. It concludes with recommendations as to how this potential could be tapped and highlights lessons that may be relevant to other regional organizations.
Developing Mechanisms for Regional Influence in National Processes of Constitutional Change: the European Union and Hungary Nora Hedling
Chapter 6 looks closely at recent changes in Hungary’s constitution, which were criticized and deemed to impact on the practice of the rule of law in the country. It then discusses the role of the European Union in this process and analyses potential mechanisms to promote a culture of constitutionalism and protect the values enshrined in the EU treaties.
SAARC and the Regional Promotion of the Rule of Law and Constitutionalism in South Asia Amanda Cats-Baril
Chapter 7 broadly examines SAARC’s work on the rule of law and looks closely at its efforts in anti-drug trafficking and counter-terrorism, legal cooperation through SAARCLAW and the Charter of Democracy. It concludes with recommendations on how to improve the
work of SAARC.
Regional Organizations and Threats to Constitutional Democracy from Within: Self-coups and Authoritarian Backsliding Sujit Choudhry and Sumit Bisarya
Chapter 8 examines regional organizations’ mandates to safeguard constitutional democracy. In particular, it focuses on self-coups and authoritarian backsliding, which are beyond the conventional unconstitutional transfers of power that regional organizations and their charters usually guard against. Regional organizations’ mandates are often expanded to meet these new challenges.
The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights: Origins, Evolution and the Way Forward Yuyun Wahyuningrum
This paper analyses the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights ´s progress since its establishment by examining the evolution of its relationship with stakeholders, institution-building processes and norm-setting exercises as indispensable elements of community building. This paper argues that although the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights has a limited mandate that does not entail protective measures to enforce human rights in the region, it is moving in the right direction in terms of human rights institutionalization and norm building.
Rule of Law in European Union External Action: Guiding Principles, Practices and Lessons Learned Isabelle Ioannides
This paper examines the EU’s approach to supporting rule of law and good governance reforms in non-member countries by analysing the principles guiding its action, the implementation of such efforts and the lessons learned from its experience. The paper argues that the EU has consistently aimed to put rule of law concerns at the centre of its actions when supporting good governance abroad, and has made much progress in refining its approach. In a world characterized by shifting social, political and economic paradigms, however, the Union must still overcome important challenges in order for its support of the rule of law to be effective.
Supporting peace in the Americas: Lessons from the Organization of American States
Over the past two decades, the Organization of American States has built a strong mandate and developed a wide range of mechanisms for building peace and supporting inclusive and sustainable democratic processes in the Americas. The OAS of the 21st century should continue to play an active role in strengthening democratic governance in the region. This Policy Brief outlines the major challenges and opportunities for the Americas in the fields of peace and democracy support, and highlights the mandate and mechanisms established by the OAS to respond to these challenges. It includes policy recommendations which, if implemented, would help strengthen the OAS’s work in these fields.
Supporting democracy in the EU Neighbourhood: the Eastern Partnership
The mandate of the European Union for democracy support stems from the Treaty of the European Union of 1992 and subsequent initiatives and frameworks. The EU has carried out its democracy-assistance activities through a series of specific policies and programmes, and their attached instruments, targeting both institution-building and political reform. This Policy Brief outlines the democracy-assistance work conducted within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy, and in particular the Eastern Partnership. It includes a number of policy recommendations which, if implemented, would help strengthen the coherence and effectiveness of the EU’s democracy-assistance programmes.
Promoting democracy and peace in Africa: the role of the African Union
The African Union has developed a comprehensive mandate that encompasses the creation, protection and support of democracy in its Member States. Since 2000 the AU has continuously expanded its mandate in the field of democracy support, and developed new mechanisms to fight unconstitutional changes of government and support the establishment of democratic institutions. This Policy Brief outlines the AU’s normative framework for conflict prevention and the support of democracy. It includes a number of policy recommendations which, if adopted, would help strengthen the AU’s work in these fields.
Major Regional Organizations (OAS, ASEAN, AU, PIF, SAARC and LAS) at Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy Third High Level Meeting in Brussels 27-28 May, 2013 discussing Rule of Law in their regions, and globally.
Regional Organizations discuss Rule of Law at European Commission
Major Regional Organizations (OAS, ASEAN, AU, PIF, SAARC and LAS) at Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy Third High Level Meeting in Brussels 27-28 May, 2013 discussing Rule of Law in their regions, and globally.
Third High Level Meeting of the Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy
International IDEA organized a workshop on the role of regional organizations in promoting and protecting the integrity of elections. IDEA spoke with Irene Klinger (OAS), Mely Caballero Anthony (ASEAN) and Shumbana Karume (AU).
Workshop on Regional Organizations and the Integrity of Elections
International IDEA organized a workshop on the role of regional organizations in promoting and protecting the integrity of elections. IDEA spoke with Irene Klinger (OAS), Mely Caballero Anthony (ASEAN) and Shumbana Karume (AU).
Workshop on Regional Organizations and the Integrity of Elections