Representatives of Member States during International IDEA´s presentation of its regional strategy and work in Latin America and the Caribbean. Photo Credit: International IDEA.
The regional office of International IDEA for Latin America and the Caribbean held two working meetings in Santiago, Chile in August to present its regional strategy and work plans (at regional, sub-regional and national levels) to the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean Countries (GRULAC) as well as to its Member Countries accredited to the Government of Chile.
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Meeting with the Ambassadors of GRULAC
On 18 August 2017, Daniel Zovatto, Regional Director of International IDEA for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), with the Ambassador of Peru in Chile, Jorge Valdez (representing the Chair of Council of Member States) organized a working lunch, on 18 August 2017, at the latter´s residence, with the ambassadors from 16 countries from the GRULAC, with the aim of analyzing the situation of democracy and its main challenges in the region as well as the significance of the work of International IDEA to respond to them.
During the working meeting, among other topics, the issue of intense electoral calendar that the region will experience in the next16 months was discussed in depth. During this period, the region will see12 elections, eight of which will be presidential. Other topics discussed included the economic and social context of the region, the new demands of the increasing middle class, the phenomenon of corruption and its connection with political financing, general discontent with politics and the growing crisis of credibility and legitimacy of political parties.
Meeting with the Ambassadors of International IDEA Member States
On 22 August 2017, the regional office of International IDEA held a meeting with the representatives of its Member States accredited in Chile at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Of the 22 Member States accredited in Chile, 19 participated in the meeting. The main objective of the meeting was to present to the Member States the regional strategy as well as the work that International IDEA is carrying out in LAC, at the regional level and at the sub-regional and national levels.
The meeting was chaired by Jorge Valdez, Ambassador of Peru to Chile, representing the Chair of Council of Member States. The moderator of the meeting, Dr Daniel Zovatto, Regional Director of LAC, presented the regional trends and challenges of democracy, with special emphasis in the fields of political and electoral reform, as well as preliminary guidelines of the new regional strategy 2018-2022 of International IDEA.
During his welcome remarks, Ambassador Milenko Skoknic, Acting Under-secretary of Foreign Affairs of Chile expressed the approval of the Chilean government for the presence of regional office of International IDEA in the country and highlighted the important work thats International IDEA carries at the regional level and in Chile. International IDEA Secretary-General Yves Leterme, who participated in the inaugural session from Stockholm (through videoconference), highlighted and acknowledged the valuable contributions of Member States and the need to continue strengthening the relations of close cooperation between them and International IDEA. The dialogue with the representatives of Member States was preceded by an introductory lecture by Sergio Bitar, Member of the Advisory Board of International IDEA, who carried out a rigorous analysis of the challenges of democracy at the global level, and particularly in the LAC region.
Keboitse Machangana, Director of the Global Programme of International IDEA, spoke on the global strategy of International IDEA and main work of the Global Programme. The heads of missions of the respective national programmes, Percy Medina of Peru, Alfonso Ferrufino of Bolivia, Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue of Haiti, and Lourdes González-Prieto of Paraguay, spoke on the context of each country and the areas of work, progress and results of their respective programmes.
The final presentation was given by Pamela Figueroa, Head of Division of Studies of the Ministry of the General Secretariat of Chile (SEGPRES). Ms Figueroa analyzed the successful technical cooperation provided by International IDEA to SEGPRES in the implementation of the integrity agenda and in the process of constitutional reform, which is currently under way.
The presentations were followed by a dialogue with the representatives of the Member States present at the meeting, during which they analyzed the main challenges of democracy in the region, the electoral agenda of the next16 months, as well as the work of International IDEA to respond to them. The representatives of the Member States highlighted the important work of International IDEA in promoting quality democracy and electoral integrity. They stressed the need to continue strengthening its work in the region and reiterated their commitment to continue supporting the work of international IDEA in the LAC region.