Speed Post News Network
New Delhi : Chief Election Commissioner of India Sunil Arora on September 3, 2019, assumed Chairmanship of Association of World Election Bodies (AWEB) for the term 2019-21 as India takes over the Chair from Romania.
India was unanimously nominated to be the Vice-Chair of AWEB at the last General Assembly held at Bucharest in 2017. The AWEB Flag was handed over to the new Chairman Sunil Arora by the Representative of Outgoing Chair Ion Mincu Radulescu, Advisor, Permanent Election Authority, Romania. The Flag will remain with Election Commission of India for the two year term till 2021.
More than 110 delegates from 45 countries attended the meeting. 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. Citing Mahatma Gandhi’s writings, Arora said, “Democracy must in essence mean the art and science of mobilising the entire physical, economic, and spiritual resources of the various sections of the people in the service of the common good of all.”
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, 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 marginalised communities in the electoral process. More than two-third of global population now lives under democratic rule, he noted.
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, according to a PIB release.
The General Assembly also ratified the appointment of the new Vice Chairman of AWEB – Glen Vuma Mashinini, Chairperson of Election Commission of South Africa, and the new Secretary General Jonghyun Choe, from Republic of Korea. Bidding farewell to Outgoing Secretary General Yong-Hi Kim A-WEB, Arora complimented Kim for steering the Secretariat in a professional and efficient manner and expanding the activities of A-WEB.
The 4th General Assembly of AWEB held at Bengaluru welcomed the EMBs from Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the Executive Board.