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New Publications from The Carter Center and International IDEA Focus on Common Language for Electoral Integrity

October 28, 2014

NEW YORK—The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and The Carter Centertoday will launch two publications that break new ground on reviewing and assessing legal frameworks for elections.

International IDEA Secretary-General Yves Leterme, and The Carter Center CEO Mary Ann Peters will present the publications at the United Nations headquarters and discuss their conceptualization and purpose.  

The Carter Center’s “Election Obligations and Standards: A Carter Center Assessment Manual” and International IDEA’s “International Obligations for Elections: Guidelines for Reviewing Legal Frameworks” provide a decisive advancement toward the development of a common language for electoral integrity. The two organizations worked hand-in-hand for two years to research and analyze U.N. treaties and official documents, as well as other regional legal sources to be used in the revision and the assessment of electoral processes.

The Carter Center's Election Obligations and Standards: A Carter Center Assessment Manualis a companion of the recently expanded and re-launched Election Obligations and Standards Database (, which draws on nearly 200 sources of international and regional law to guide electoral assessments, including those by international and citizen election observers.  

“The Election Obligations and Standards Manual distills the content of the Center’s Database into a reference guide that can be used by anyone interested in assessing elections,” said Carter Center CEO Ambassador (Ret.) Mary Ann Peters. “We hope this contributes to the creation of a common language for electoral integrity, used by everyone invested in election processes.” 

International IDEA's International Obligations for Elections: Guidelines for Reviewing Legal Frameworks relies on U.N. treaty law and jurisprudence relevant to electoral management bodies and national legislators that can strenghten national accountability and national ownership in electoral processes. The guidelines aim to inspire stronger democratic institutions by highlighting international obligations for elections that U.N. member states voluntarily subscribed to through the U.N. treaties.

“ ‘The International Obligations for Elections’ ” guidelines are designed to be a one-stop shop that focuses explicitly on national accountability and ownership,” said International IDEA Secretary-General Yves Leterme. “These guidelines allow readers to assess the capacity of rights-holders to claim their rights; support duty-bearers to fulfill their own obligations; support the development of strategies to build their respective capacities; and monitor their implementation.”

With the support of the United Nations Secretariat, The Carter Center and International IDEA promote a common language to support integrity and legitimacy in electoral processes.


“Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.” A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) is an intergovernmental organization with a mission to support sustainable democracy worldwide. The objectives of the Institute are to support stronger democratic institutions and processes, and more sustainable, effective and legitimate democracy. International IDEA is the facilitator of the Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy, which is a leading platform for democracy for Regional Organizations.

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