Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora on Tuesday took charge as chairman of Association of World Election Bodies (AWEB) as India takes over the Chair from Romania.
Arora will serve a two-year term till 2021. AWEB is a multilateral platform for election management bodies from across the world to share best electoral practices.
India was unanimously nominated to be the Chair of AWEB at the last General Assembly held at Bucharest in 2017. More than 110 delegates from 45 countries attended the meeting in Bengaluru.
On this occasion, CEC Arora along with the two Election Commissioners of India Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra and Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha also launched ECI’s quarterly magazine – ‘VOICE International’ which shares best practices from more than 25 Countries.
Convening the General Assembly as the new Chairman of AWEB, Arora acknowledged that it was his privilege and pleasure to welcome all delegates to Bengaluru for the AWEB meetings.
Arora also noted that the very Preamble of AWEB Charter spells out the vision of AWEB wherein it mentions the need for strengthening cooperation between and among EMBs for the purpose of ensuring a credible electoral process in the world; committing to promote conditions conducive to free, fair, transparent and participative elections and to the development of a democratic culture in the world; promoting gender equality and the inclusion of People with Disabilities and other marginalized communities in the electoral process.
Accepting the responsibility as Chairman of AWEB, Arora said ECI looks forward to further strengthening its interaction and partnership with AWEB Secretariat and member EMBs in promoting the activities of the Association as per its objectives and empowering the fellow EMBs through its capacity building programmes.
He thanked the Members for the trust and confidence reposed in the Election Commission of India. The General Assembly also ratified the appointment of the new vice-charman AWEB — Glen Vuma Mashinini, chairperson of Election Commission of South Africa.
Since its inception in October 2013, A-WEB has marched ahead empowering the democratic framework of member countries.
With 120 EMBs from 111 countries as its Members and 21 International Organisations as Associate Members, it has truly become the largest global organisation of Election Management Bodies providing momentum to the spread of electoral democracy, the Chair noted.
India, the host nation for 4th general assembly, has been one of the founding members of the A-WEB. India hosted the three-day AWEB meetings in Bengaluru. The International Conference on “Initiatives and Challenges of Social Media and Information Technology in Elections” will be held on September 4, 2019, the concluding day of the AWEB meetings.