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Regional conference on "elections and stability in west Africa

Praia/Dakar, 16 May 2011 – A regional conference on « Elections and stability in West Africa » will take place from 18 to 20 May 2011 in Praia, Cape Verde.

This goal of this conference is to analyze the impact of electoral processes on the stability of West Africa and their implications on conflict prevention, democracy and peace consolidation.

Taking into account the fact that despite the significant progress observed in organizing peaceful and credible elections in Africa, electoral processes remain vulnerable social and political events during which tensions and sometimes violence occur, the regional conference intends to examine the main challenges to the political stability of electoral processes and to formulate a set of practical and innovative recommendations in order to assist the West African states, especially those where elections are scheduled to take place between 2011 and 2013.

The regional conference will provide an opportunity to evaluate the implementation of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and good governance ten years after its adoption, and to analyze objectively recent elections held in West Africa. The conference will then consider critical issues such as the financing of elections, the functioning of the electoral commissions, the management of electoral disputes, the role of the media and of the security sector, human rights and gender issues as well as the support of the UN and of the international community as a whole to electoral processes.

Around one hundred participants from different backgrounds will participate in the conference, including high-level personalities and representatives of governments, electoral commissions, Constitutional Councils, security forces, media organizations, civil society and regional organizations.

The conference is organized under the aegis of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), in partnership with with the Government of Cape Verde, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and with the support of the UN Department of Political Affairs and its Electoral Assistance Division, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU), the Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF) and the European Union (EU).

For more information:
• Laurence Gérard, Public Information Officer and spokesperson , UNOWA – gerardl@un.org- http://unowa.unmissions.org
• Maimouna Mills, UNDP Regional Center - Communications specialist - maimouna.mills@undp.org - +221 77 529 12 98 – www.undp.org
• Anita Pinto, Communications Analyst – UNDP Praia, Cape Verde - Tel:(+238) 26096 00 – Cel: (+ 238) 991 45 55 - anita.pinto@one.un.org - www.un.cv

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