NEW DELHI: The Election Commission of India will be hosting a virtual meet of the ‘Asian Regional Forum’ on the theme “Making our Elections Inclusive, Accessible and Participative” at Nirvachan Sadan on August 11, 2022.
This Regional Forum meet is precursor to the “Global Summit for Democracy” to be hosted by the National Electoral Institute of Mexico in the coming month. The Global Summit and Regional Forum meets aims to generate synergy amongst international organizations, electoral bodies from the world and to promote intellectual and institutional mobilization to strengthen electoral democracy in the world.
Chief Election Commissioner of India, Rajiv Kumar, and Election Commissioner, Anup Chandra Pandey, will preside over the Asian Regional Forum meet. The meet will have participation from Election Management Bodies of Mexico, Mauritius, Philippines, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Maldives and Representatives from International IDEA, Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).
This Asian Regional Forum (ARF) meet has two sessions. The first session is on ‘Inclusive Elections: Enhancing Participation of Youth, Gender and Citizens in Remote Areas’ which will be co-chaired by the Chief Election Commissioner from Mauritius and Nepal. The session will have representation from COMELEC Philippines and representatives from International IDEA and A-WEB.
The second session on ‘Accessible Elections: Enhancing Participation of Persons with Disabilities & Senior Citizens’ will be chaired by the Commissioner, COMELEC, Philippines and CEC of Uzbekistan and will have representation from Election Commission of Nepal & Maldives and IFES (Asia Pacific).
As part of this ‘Global Summit for Democracy’, five Regional Forums namely Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and countries of the Arab States have been created. India is hosting the Asian Regional Forum meet of the EMBs not only to institutionalize and mobilize the EMBs as a precursor to “Global Summit for Democracy” but also to reflect upon the changing geo-politics, emerging technologies and their use in election management in view of the challenges presented by COVID-19 pandemic.
Outcomes from the Regional Forum Meets is aimed at generating an action plan and agenda to strengthen democracy around the world, particularly through robust election processes. So far, three Regional Forum meets for Europe, America and Africa have been held in the months of June and July, 2022.