Observing elections to improve democracy
On 3rd April 2018, Democracy Volunteers became signatories to the Declaration of Global Principles for Non-Partisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organisations and became a member of the Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM). This signing was on the sixth anniversary to the day of the Declaration’s original signing at The United Nations in New York. Democracy Volunteers are the only UK-based signatory to the Declaration and only the second in Western Europe.
GNDEM spans 5 continents with observer and monitoring groups in 88 countries and territories around the world as members. It shares best practice amongst observer groups around the world and is founded on the Declaration of Global Principles, which was drawn up and agreed at the United Nations in New York in April 2012. This expresses the independence of observers from party politics and as authoritative guardians of democracy who can help deter illegal practices at elections.
The Declaration also lays out a code of conduct for election observers which requires them to act impartially at elections which all Democracy Volunteers’ observers are expected to endorse before they observe elections in the United Kingdom.
As well as being politically impartial the organisation does not receive financial support, for its observations, from government and also promises to report promptly on its findings to the appropriate electoral bodies, on its findings.
Intergovernmental organisations that support the Declaration are: The Commonwealth Secretariat, The European Parliament, The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, International IDEA, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) and the United Nations Secretariat.
Nongovernmental supporters of the Declaration are: The Carter Center , The Center for Electoral Assistance and Promotion (CAPEL), The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI).