Manila: India has been unanimously elected as the new Chair of the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA) for 2022-2024 at the Executive Board and General Assembly meeting here on May 7, 2022.
Commission on Elections, Manila was the current chair of AAEA. The Executive Board’s new members now include Russia, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
The Election Commission of India‘s 3-member delegation headed by Deputy Election Commissioner Nitesh Vyas, along with CEO Manipur Rajesh Agrawal and CEO Rajasthan Praveen Gupta, attended the meeting and presented the work plan for 2022-23 as also futuristic activities for 2023-24 to the Executive Board. A presentation on ‘Gender Issues in Elections’ was also given, highlighting various concerted and targeted interventions by India to break socio-political barriers in electoral and political processes for inclusive and participative elections.
The mission of the AAEA is to provide a non-partisan forum in the Asian region for sharing experiences and best practices among election authorities to discuss and act upon ways to promote open and transparent elections with the objective of supporting good governance and democracy.
Officials from many AAEA member countries have been regularly attending International Training Programmes conducted by India International Institute for Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) from time to time. Since 2019, more than 250 officials from AAEA member countries have attended these programmes. IIIDEM also conducts customised capacity development training programs for specific member countries. 50 officials of the Bangladesh Election Commission were trained during 2021-22.
Delegates have also been regularly participating in the International Election Visitors Programme organised by the Election Commission of India. 62 officials from 12 AAEA members participated in the 3rd International Virtual Election Visitors Programme (IEVP) hosted by ECI during Assembly Elections in 2022. AAEA is also an Associate Member of the 118 member Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB).
In pursuance of the resolution passed by participants of the Symposium on Asian Elections in the Twenty-First Century held from January 26-29, 1997 in Manila, the Association of Asian Election Authorities was established in 1998. Currently, 20 Asian EMBs are members of AAEA. ECI is a founder member of EMB of the AAEA and also served on the Executive Board of the AAEA as the Vice-Chair during 2011-13 and Chair during 2014-16.
Top photo: Participants at the AAEA meeting in Manila
– global bihari bureau