SOME RESULTS FROM THE UN-EU PARTNERSHIP IN 2009 IN THE AREA OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE:
Capacities for elections were built in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Fiji, Georgia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Haiti, Malawi, Moldova, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
In El Salvador, the UN provided support to EU electoral observation missions for both municipal and presidential elections. The mission deployed 85 observers from 22 EU Members States for both processes.
In Tanzania, relevant election laws were reviewed and amended. Some election laws were translated into Swahili ensuring wider comprehension of the rules.
To strengthen local democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the civil society in 14 municipalities was supported to work locally on social issues, gender, the environment, human rights and empowerment of vulnerable groups supporting communities in participating in and designing their own solutions to local challenges.
In Albania, the rights and voice of youth were promoted through initiatives such as the Model UN, Youth Parliaments, support to eliminate child labour, and campaigns to promote healthy lifestyles among adolescents and teenagers. Participation of women was promoted through awareness raising, promotion of networks among NGOs, monitoring for women’s political participation, technical assistance to local governments to introduce gender responsive budgeting, and awareness raising to mobilize public response against domestic and gender-based violence. Participation of minorities was promoted through support to Roma communities; by establishing a network of 45 community mediators; through priority projects identified by communities, and support to 200 civil registrations of minorities. A Gender Equality Law and by-laws were adopted, along with a gender equality and domestic violence strategy. The Labour Code is being reviewed from a gender perspective.
In Kyrgyzstan, the constitutional reform was aided by support to law making (9 bills were improved and aligned with the constitutions and international standards); parliamentary oversight (budget transparency was improved, oversight of human rights in prisons was strengthened); gender audits; and parliamentary outreach.
In Lao PDR the capacity of district government o!cials was strengthened through a district development fund. As a result, villages in Saravane province have a new school, a better road, improved health care, improved access to energy and a bigger market. Over 282,000 people benefitted from rehabilitated and newly built infrastructure. The capacity of the Lao National Assembly was enhanced through sectoral workshops that equipped National Assembly Members and staff with up-to-date knowledge on sectoral and policy issues, enhancing their ability to review draft laws. Public access and awareness was reinforced by live telecasting of National Assembly sessions, media print and radio broadcasts and organized visits to provinces by National Assembly members. Local constituency consultations and events involving students and communities provided opportunities for the public to interact with Members and provide feedback on the Assembly’s roles.
In the Central African Republic, the capacity of Members of Parliament was strengthened. A practical guide was developed and circulated to all Members and officers, while a selected group were trained on the content of the guide. The capacity of the parliamentary administration was strengthened through the training of 50 executives and employees in relevant topics such as parliamentary institutions, activities of parliamentary committees, legislative services of a parliamentary administration, and principles of legislation and drafting.
In Ukraine, governmental authorities and social partners were supported in ensuring respect for national and international equality commitments in the workplace, progressively eliminating gender biases in employment policies, and in creating a supportive environment for women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship.
In Cambodia the UN and the EU supported the government in strengthening decentralization and democratic local governance including through discussion forums. One achievement was the new strategy for the Ministry of Women Affairs that took into consideration gender issues raised in regional forums. Similarly, an environmental problem was resolved following a district forum. To ensure best practices and lessons were captured, a national award programme was created, highlighting and promoting best practices across the country through media and local exchange programmes.