UN signs electoral assistance agreements with Argentina, Brazil and Panama

21 October 2002

The United Nations today signed agreements with the Governments of Argentina, Brazil and Panama that pave the way for enhanced UN electoral assistance activities in support of Member States.

The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Kieran Prendergast, signed Memoranda of Understanding with Argentina and Brazil that focus on the exchange of experiences and technology associated with the electoral process.

UN officials said the Brazilian experience is particularly significant because Brazil is the first country to adopt electronic voting nationally. More than 115 million voters in both urban and rural settings are covered by that system.

"The importance of signing this MOU is to make available to the Members of the United Nations the technology that was developed by Brazil for electronic voting," Carina Perelli, the Director of the UN Electoral Assistance Division, explained.

The agreement creates a mechanism for countries, when requesting UN assistance in automating their electoral assistance, to draw on the Brazilian experience. "The possibility of having this access is significant both to the UN Member States and to the Electoral Assistance Division in answering their requests," she said.

The Memorandum with Panama will focus on the establishment of an electoral information system, the International Service for Electoral News, based on the structure used in that country. The system will provide for the exchange of information on the electoral process in all Member States.

 

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