Official Launch of the Declaration of Global Principles at the United Nations

Publication Date 
Tue, 2012-04-03

The Global Network of Domestic Elections Monitors proudly announces the formal launch of the Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations. Leaders representing 150 citizen election observation groups joined former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, NDI's chairman; Ambassador Lynn Pascoe, UN under-secretary-general; Ambassador Albert Ramdin, OAS assistant secretary general; Ambassador Janez Lenarčič, OSCE/ODIHR director; and others to launch the Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations. The Declaration was launched at a ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters in New York hosted by the UN Electoral Assistance Division (UNEAD).

Group photo from launch with dignitaries
Photo Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The afternoon ceremony commemorated the contributions of more than three million citizens around the world who, as volunteer observers, have created and advanced the field of citizen election observation. At the ceremony, GNDEM members across the globe also recognized the efforts of the Draft Development Group (DDG) that reviewed a large body of human rights documents and worked in committee to develop principles that applied to nonpartisan observers across all regions. Following the 2010 drafting meeting in Johannesburg, the draft Declaration was circulated to GNDEM’s member organizations for comment. As a result of this process, GNDEM is pleased to announce that the Declaration enjoys the full support of more than 150 nonpartisan election monitoring organizations and is endorsed by global and regional networks.

During the second panel of the launch ceremony, Institute for Education in Democracy Executive Director Peter Aling’o reflected on seeing the process through completion. “As a member of the drafting committee for the Declaration it is very humbling to see the process at this stage … including this day, this grand day … allow me to pay tribute to all members of the drafting committee.”

See DoGP Launch Photos

The Declaration’s launch marks an important milestone in the history of nonpartisan citizen election observation. Since 1986, at least 90 countries have benefited from the efforts of nonpartisan citizen election monitoring. These efforts have safeguarded electoral integrity and built public confidence in elections around the world. Now, leaders from these citizen-based observation groups have come together to present the Declaration and its accompanying Code of Conduct, and in doing so, they have put forth a common set of global standards.

"We owe all of these words that are the cornerstone of democracy – transparency, credibility, integrity, respect, impartiality - to these 4 million people who have worked in these activities,” said ENEMO Chairman and member of the DDG Darko Aleksov. “This is where we get our credibility."

We invite all members of GNDEM to share in this historic moment and celebrate what has been accomplished on behalf of citizen election observation.

Statements in Support of the Declaration of Global Principles

In addition to the representatives from citizen election monitoring organizations, international non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations declared their support for the Declaration at the 3 April launch. Representatives from the European Parliament, the European Commission, OSCE-ODIHR and the Carter Center plus many more attended the launch as observers. Some of these organizations also sent statements to accompany their representatives. Read them below:

The European Parliament
Schulz on the Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations

The European Commission
Statement by the EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on the UN-sponsored Declaration of global principles for domestic election observation

OSCE/ODIHR Director highlights vital role of domestic election observers at launch of declaration at UN

The Carter Center
Carter Center Supports Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation

Featured Photo: Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright addresses the launch of the Declaration at the UN

Declaration_of_Global_Principles_ENG.pdf296.26 KB
DoGP Statement of Support from Catherine Ashton (3 April 2012)36.5 KB