Tue, 25 Feb 2020

New Delhi [India], Jan 24 (ANI): The Election Commission of India (ECI) will be hosting the 10th annual meeting of the Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) in New Delhi on January 24 and take over as chair of FEMBoSA for 2020.

An International Conference on 'Strengthening Institutional Capacity' will also be organised on January 24. The conference would include, besides delegates from participating FEMBoSA members, participants from Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan Mauritius, Tunisia, and three International Organisations viz. the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) based in Seoul, Republic of Korea, the US-based International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES) and International IDEA.

There will be three sessions during the conference where representatives from the EMBs and International Organisations will participate and share their experiences, best practices and initiatives are taken towards 'Strengthening Institutional Capacity' of EMBs in various countries.

On this occasion, the January 2020 issue of the ECI's quarterly magazine 'Voice International' will be released, which will carry articles on the theme of "Innovative Methods of Voter Registration".

FEMBoSA was established at the 3rd Conference of Heads of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of SAARC Countries held at New Delhi from April 30 to May 2, 2012, through a unanimously adopted resolution on May 1, 2012, to establish the Forum.

The conference also unanimously adopted the Charter of the Forum. The annual FEMBoSA meeting is held by rotation among the members. The last (9th) annual meeting of FEMBoSA was held in Dhaka in September 2018.

Besides ECI, the other seven members are EMBs from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The FEMBoSA represents a very large part of the democratic world and is an active regional association of the election management bodies of South Asia. The objectives of the Forum are to promote contact among the EMBs of the SAARC countries, share experiences with a view to learning from each other and cooperate with one another in enhancing the capabilities of the EMBs towards conducting free and fair elections.

At the forthcoming FEMBoSA meeting, the delegates would, inter alia, take stock of the activities undertaken by the members during the last year 2019 and discuss or finalise a work plan for its members for the year 2020.

On the sidelines of the Conference, ECI will also renew Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the field of election management with the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan. The previous MoU was signed in April 2008 and expired in April 2013.

The International Conference is being organised with the purpose of sharing the experience of different EMB's, International Institutions and Experts with regard to the analysis of barriers, policy interventions, strategies, programmes, good practices and technological innovation for 'Strengthening Institutional Capacity' of EMBs. The international delegates will also attend the National Voters' Day Celebrations in New Delhi on January 25. (ANI)

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