Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations
Setting forth a clear and forceful statement of principles and code of conduct for nonpartisan election monitoring by citizen organizations marks a major milestone in the development of nonpartisan election monitoring around the world. The Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations and its code of conduct do just that. All GNDEM members must endorse and implement the Declaration.
The Declaration provides an important set of standards for self-awareness and accountability among nonpartisan election monitoring organizations. It provides a basis of understanding upon which nonpartisan organizations can engage with electoral officials and other governmental authorities. It also allows citizens, news media and concerned members of the international community to appreciate the role and commitment of organizations that endorse the Declaration of Global Principles.
The Declaration of Global Principles sets forth the basis and rationale for citizen action to monitor and promote the integrity of elections. It defines the activities and delineates ethical obligations concerning impartiality, independence, accuracy, transparency, nondiscrimination, respect for the rule of law and cooperation with other electoral stakeholders and international election observers. It describes the processes monitored and conditions required for successful nonpartisan election monitoring by citizens. It sets forth specific pledges and commitments of the endorsing organizations and provides for a second type of endorsement by “Supporters of the Declaration” for international organizations that support or are concerned with nonpartisan election monitoring by citizen organizations. The accompanying code of conduct operationalizes the Declaration and provides a sample nonpartisan pledge.
The Declaration of Global Principles was developed through a consensus process by representatives of the existing and developing regional networks of nonpartisan election monitoring organizations from Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, Latin American America and the Caribbean and the Middle East and North Africa that are members of GNDEM. The representatives formed a Draft Development Group (DDG) that reviewed a large body of relevant materials in advance of a 24-25 May 2010 meeting in Johannesburg. A Draft was produced as a consequence of that meeting and circulated for comment to the over 125 GNDEM members. Comments were reviewed by the DDG and a final text was presented to the respective regional networks for consideration before it was opened for endorsements by domestic election monitoring organizations. The process surrounding development of the Declaration of Global Principles was facilitated by the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and the UN Electoral Assistance Division (UNEAD).