Regional Conference on Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation in the SADC

5-6 November 2003, Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre, Benoni, South Africa

A joint initiative by EISA and the Electoral Commissions Forum (ECF), the regional conference on Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation in the SADC Region underscores EISA's work flowing from consensus building meetings convened with electoral stakeholders in the region some two years ago. This culminated in a regional conference held in Windhoek in June 2000 where a regional task team was appointed to draft what was then termed Norms and Standards for Electoral Observation. The Task Team was drawn from Electoral Commissions, academia, CSOs involved in electoral work in the SADC region and the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

The Task Team has completed its work and the conference will be a launching pad for the draft document. The timing of the conference is in line with the "election cycle" that the Region is going into in the years 2004 and 2005 and the document is seen as crucial to the consolidation process that most SADC countries are undergoing. EISA patron and former president of Botswana Sir Ketumile Masire will open the Conference. It will be attended by more than 100 participants from the 14 SADC countries.

It is hoped that the conference will achieve two aims:

  1. Get feedback on the draft so as to improve the content thereof
  2. Gain acceptance of the document as an adequate basis on which to manage and observe elections in the SADC region

The conference will be followed by the publication of the Principles for Election Management and Observation and their wide distribution and implementation throughout the region. EISA and ECF are grateful for the generous funding provided by the Conference, Workshop and Cultural Initiative Fund Secretariat (CWCI) and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), which has made the hosting of the conference possible.