"Dear Excellencies, Chairpersons, Commissioner, representatives from electoral management bodies, civil society organizations, and intergovernmental organizations, and all participants and guests,
On behalf of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, it is a great pleasure to welcome all of you to the Regional BRIDGE Workshop on Financing of Elections. To have such a distinguished, experienced and diverse group of participants from Botswana, Indonesia, Malawi, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Thailand and Timor-Leste attend this Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) workshop is a great honor and testament to the significance of this topic to election practitioners. My hope is that this pilot of the Financing or Elections module will allow us to improve the content even further ahead of its official launch in late 2019 as a global good.
I also would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of Timor-Leste, National Election Commission (CNE), the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE) and the United Nations Development Programme for hosting and co-organizing this workshop. Also thanks to the Republic of Korea, the Korean International Cooperation Agency and the People of Japan. Special thanks to Vice Minister for the State Administration, Mr Abilio Caetano, President of CNE, Mr Alcino de Araujo Barris, Director of Multilateral Cooperation, Vicky Tchong and UNDP Deputy Resident Coordinator Mrs Lazima Onta-Bhattafor opening this workshop. Also, I would like to thank the facilitation and administrative team, which includes our partner organization colleagues, who have been working day and night to prepare for this workshop. This includes, among others, Yvonne Goudie, Michael Maley, Nyla Grace Prieto, Augusto Pereira, Harris Potani, Tendai Chinamora-Jönsson and Jennifer Sackl.
BRIDGE represents a unique initiative where five leading organizations, the Australian Election Commission, International IDEA, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division (UNEAD) jointly committed to developing, implementing and maintaining the most comprehensive curriculum and workshop package available in the field of elections. As a result, The BRIDGE curriculum represents the most ambitious attempt to cover the spectrum of electoral processes and their effective administration ever undertaken. Today, BRIDGE workshops have been conducted in more than 100 countries, for over 15,000 participants.
Given that all the BRIDGE partner organizations could not be here today, I would like to take this opportunity to read a message from all the partners.
“Sending best wishes to the National Election Commission (CNE) and the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration(STAE) on this historic milestone and to acknowledge that Timor-Leste was the first country in which the full 10 modules of BRIDGE version 1 were conducted, and that many senior members of CNE/STAE and other organisations based in Dili have BRIDGE alumni. This is both a testament to the success of BRIDGE and a credit to the Timorese who have stayed in the field of democracy support in their country and abroad. It is a great honor for all of us that the newly updated BRIDGE version 3 is now being showcased in Dili where it all started nearly 20 years ago",
signed AEC, International IDEA, IFES, UNDP and UNEAD
I wish you all well and hope that you find this workshop both productive and enjoyable."
Read more about this BRIDGE Workshop event