The GS/OAS is the central and permanent organ of the Organisation of American States, the world’s oldest regional organisation, dating back to 1889, which comprises 35 independent states of the Americas and constitutes the main political, juridical, and social governmental forum in the Hemisphere.
According to the Charter of the OAS, the General Secretariat is authorised to establish relations of cooperation, in accordance with decisions reached by the General Assembly or the Councils, with the Specialised Foundations as well as other national and international organisations.
Within the General Secretariat, the Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation is the principal responsible for implementing Election Observation missions, Technical Cooperation programmes and disseminating knowledge and promoting democratic practices’ exchanges in the region.
This Department is also in charge of providing technical support to electoral management bodies through the implementation of quality management systems and certification under the technical specifications of the International Organisation for Standardisation-ISO (http://www.iso.org/iso/home.html) and under the supervision of the International Electoral Accreditation Body (https://oas-ieab.org/).
In this context, the Memorandum of Understanding between ECES and GS/OAS represents a roadmap for how OAS and ECES can use the know-how and expertise from our respective networks and staffs in order to achieve a shared mission, namely promoting transparency and quality in elections for a sustainable democratic development.
A memorandum of understanding signatory ceremony took place today (10 November 2016), as the one of several activities that ECES and the General Secretariat of the Organisation of American States will engage in the future.
The ECES Delegation consisted of the main crafter of the partnership, namely its Executive Director Fabio Bargiacchi and by ECES President Monica Frassoni who signed the agreement with Gerardo de Icaza Hernández, the Director of the Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation of the GS/OAS.
ECES’ President, Ms. Frassoni, thanked OAS for their commitment to the partnership and she emphasised the joint ambition of ECES and GS-OAS to work together across regions, cultures and borders for the overall improvement of electoral processes and democratic culture also in the American Region, a region she has a special personal attachment to, having been born in Mexico.
In this context, a key action for ECES would be to proactively spread the knowledge of ISO technical specifications related to quality managements systems for electoral organisations, while supporting the related certification processes and capacity building activities with the aim of contributing to the transparency and confidence among the electorate and stakeholders and consolidate the reputation of certified EMB. ECES and OAS are working together to deliver soon a training of trainers on quality management systems for electoral organisations.
ECES wishes to extend its most heartfelt thanks to the organisers of the ceremony, the OAS, for welcoming the ECES Delegation in Washington DC and looks forward to to continue our collaboration and join our expertise to produce a tangible contribution to electoral and democratic processes worldwide.