UNDP presents ‘Assistance on Electoral Processes’ report to ECP

The report recommends to support the ECP in institutional development, training and capacity building, besides assistance to enhance gender equality and inclusivity of electoral processes with a special focus on increasing women’s vote registration.

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ISLAMABAD: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan on Saturday handed over its report on ‘Assistance on Electoral Processes’ to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The report was presented by UNDP Resident Representative Knut Ostby and Chief Technical Advisor Ali Al-Bayati to ECP Secretary Omar Hamid Khan. The meeting was also attended by ECP Additional Director General Gender Affairs Nighat Siddique, said a press release.

The report was prepared in continuation of the meeting of UNDP Need Assessment Mission headed by Ms Svetlana Gakina Political/Electoral Affair Officer, Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs UN, New York with ECP secretary in February.

The report includes the recommendations to collaborate with the ECP to strengthen the democratic process in Pakistan. It recommends to support the ECP in institutional development, training and capacity building, besides assistance to enhance gender equality and inclusivity of electoral processes with a special focus on increasing women’s vote registration.

It further discusses to cooperate with the ECP in convening dialogues platforms for electoral reforms, including advice on full participation of persons with disabilities in the electoral process, and targeted support to introduction of technology.

The UNDP report also stresses on taking initiatives for strong public outreach to electoral stakeholders, including political parties, civil society, media and domestic observers and voters at large aimed at enhancing public trust in the electoral management process, institutions and transparency in their work.

The UNDP recommendations also include to provide assistance to the ECP in its efforts to mitigate misinformation, hate speech, and improve communication through social media, besides increasing cooperation in strengthening its internal communication system down to the provincial, regional and district levels.

The report highlights importance of civic education, and assures to provide support in taking steps for civic and voter education with focus on women, youth, persons with disabilities, transgenders and religious minorities, besides joining hands with the ECP in exploring the production of training material on the role of security forces in elections, an associated code of conduct and electoral operations aimed at security personnel ensuring security around polling sites.

The ECP secretary appreciated the UNDP’s recommendations and vowed to work together with development partners and stakeholders to strengthen electoral and democratic processes.

Omar Hamid Khan apprised the mission about the steps taken by the ECP to ensure free, fair, transparent and inclusive elections in Pakistan.

He said the ECP had been steadfast in implementation of the targets and goals set up in its third Strategic Plan 2019-2023 for institutional development and for strengthening the democratic processes.

He mentioned that the ECP was taking several initiatives to ensure participation and representation of all the vulnerable segments of the society.

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