Yves Leterme with the Chairperson of the Autonomous National Electoral Commission of Senegal, Doudou Ndir.
On 4 and 5 April 2017, the Secretary-General of International IDEA, Yves Leterme, undertook a working visit to explore future partnership opportunities with Senegal.
High level bilateral and multilateral meetings took place with the Minister Advisor in Charge of Justice at the Office of the Head of State of Senegal; the Chief Executive Officer of the General Directorate on Elections at the Ministry of Interior of Senegal; the Chairperson of the Autonomous National Electoral Commission of Senegal; the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General of UN in West Africa and Sahel; the Ambassadors Representatives of International IDEA Member States accredited in Senegal; and key decisionmakers on democratic governance in the country. The Secretary-General also delivered a lecture on Democratic Governance and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the University Cheik Anta Diop of Dakar.
In his lecture, the Secretary-General highlighted the importance of free and fair electoral processes, resilient Institutions and a multidimensional approach to democratic governance—which includes human security—for a healthy democracy. "The democratic experience in Senegal should serve as an incentive for evolutions towards democratic governance in West Africa, on the continent, and in the rest of the world", stated Leterme.
He continued with the value of the SDGs adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The attainment of the SDGs, including participatory representation of people in democratic governance will help enable sustainable development, according to the Secretary-General. He concluded by emphasizing how International IDEA will continue to contribute proactively to the consolidation of democratic governance, as an enabler for the realization of the SDGs in African countries.