Inaugural MSG Members’ Election Management Board Conference 2019 Begins

(l-r): Mr Patilias Gamato, Electoral Commissioner PNG; Mr Mose Saitala, Commissioner and CEO Solomon Islands Electoral Commission; Mr Suresh Chandra, Chairman of Fiji Electoral Commission; Mr. Martin Tete, Chairman Vanuatu Electoral Commission, and MSG Secretariat DG Ambassador Yauvoli during the opening of the inaugural MSG Election Management Board Members Conference at the Fiji Elections Office in Suva.

The inaugural Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Members’ Election Management Board (EMB) Conference is scheduled for the 12th and 13th of November 2019.

Preparations began at the Fiji Elections Office Room in Toorak, Suva, Fiji on Monday this week.

The conference came about after the combined EMB identified the MSG Secretariat as the principal sub-regional body in Melanesia, placing the Secretariat in a position to provide their support for the EMBs on various areas of institutional strengthening on the Leader’s Mandate.

It was also recognized that this was an opportunity to further their pursuit to inaugurate a much-needed forum where they would be able to converge to discuss common challenges, successes, and experiences with each other.

A joint partnership between the MSG and IDEA International was agreed to in Honiara, Solomon Islands on September 12th 2019 providing a doorway for representatives of Election Offices in the Melanesian Sub-region after the EMBs recognized the significance of the partnership, especially with IDEA’s global background in elections and democracy and the benefits the partnership would provide through technical resources and support.

The MSG Secretariat Director General, Ambassador Amena Yauvoli explained, “this is an exciting time and move for both the MSG Secretariat and the Elections Board Management as we move forward to ensure there is transparency in future elections and challenges are met accordingly and properly as we engage with the esteemed participants that will be present for the inaugural Elections Board Management Conference.”

DG Yauvoli continued, “it is imperative in this day and age that we understand that Elections are the rights of our people and at the end of the day their choices are met through a flawless and well-run election.

“Good governance is extremely important to make things run smoothly and the Secretariat and IDEA are looking forward to working together with the EMBs to identify key areas which the Secretariat can help provide support for and to map key strategies to help strengthen their networking amongst each other to make things work for our Melanesian countries”.

The inaugural EMB Conference will reinforce the vision EMBs have in creating spaces for dialogue and learning along with strengthening the management and governance of elections offices within the Melanesian states.

The conference is expected to provide the EMBs with a space to engage with the MSG Secretariat and key partners on the support they can provide to the EMBs. Further the EMBs in our MSG sub region recognize the strategic positioning of the MSG in accessing the decision making of our Melanesian Leaders while ensuring that their independence as EMBs is also safeguarded.

This inaugural EMB Conference will help with working on developing principles of securing and maintaining the independence of the EMBs ensuring delivery of their constitutional mandates are well resourced in the future for the MSG Secretariat through its Governance process to submit to the MSG Leaders for endorsement.

EMBs will also learn how to engage with development partners so those partners will understand challenges that are faced by the EMBs, solutions to problems that may arise and how the EMBs can in turn support and partner with the MSG Secretariat in addressing these challenges.

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