Bolivia assumes the presidency of the AMEA and promotes discussion on Parity and Intercultural Democracy.
On 11-12 October, in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, the Second Conference of the Association of Electoral Magistrates of the Americas (AMEA) took place, with the participation of 13 countries of the region, organized by the Plurinational Electoral Body (OEP) of Bolivia.
At the inauguration, Katia Uriona, President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) of Bolivia, highlighted, among the expected results, the possibility of having a status report on the progress, obstacles and challenges faced by the Parity and Intercultural Democracy in the region and the problem of political harassment and violence, from a jurisdictional perspective in the electoral bodies; on the one hand. On the other, advancementin the drafting of a work agenda and joint strategies at regional level for the implementation of a Regional Observatory to monitor the exercise of women's political rights by electoral bodies, which defines indicators and produces information, so that progressively there is comparative data at a regional level that give greater support to the initiatives that can be deployed in this field.
Alfonso Ferrufino, representative of International IDEA, praised the institutional restructuring work carried out by the OEP of Bolivia - with strong support fromthe Swedish government, the Spanish Cooperation and the European Union, coordinated by International IDEA - as well as relevant progress alreadyachieved in the areas of parity and intercultural democracy in Bolivia. He emphasized the important role that electoral bodies can play in promoting and strengthening democratic quality systems.
The event addressed four thematic axes: i) scope and challenges to deepen parity democracy from a jurisprudence development perspective in electoral bodies of the region; ii) participation of indigenous and Afro-descendant women in intercultural and parity democracy; iii) Electoral Bodies faced with the problem of political harassment and violence against women and iv) defining theagreements and work plan of the Association of Electoral Magistrates of the Americas.
During both days there were three keynote lectures with the participation of international experts: The first, on Parliamentary Democracy, was given byLine Bareiro of Paraguay; Carmen Moreno, from Mexico, spoke about Harassment and Political Violence against womenand Otilia Lux, from Guatemala, Maya K'iche woman, made a presentation on the political participation of indigenous and Afro-descendant women.
On these 3 axes, work panels were developed, in which the participating electoral magistrates analyzed the problem from their different experiences, contributing toa broad, deep and fruitful discussion. They addressed issues that includedstate policies, specific legislation regarding women's political rights, gender inequalities and inequities, harassment and political violence, among others, from a multidimensional perspective that can undoubtedly contribute significantly to democracy strengthening in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In conclusion, all participants in the Conference expressed their satisfaction as the objectives of the event were widely fulfilled.
Finally, at the Assembly of the AMEA held after the Conference, Katia Uriona was sworn in as President of the Association for 2018-2019.