Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, OSCE and other International Organizations in Vienna

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Statement on Democratic elections and election observation: Sharing best practices (OSCE/HDIM)

Statement of the Czech Republic at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (Working Session 12: Democratic elections and election observation: Sharing best practices. October 1, 2013)

Madam Moderator,

Fully subscribing to the EU statement, I would like to make an intervention in my national capacity.

Promotion of free and fair elections in accordance with democratic standards belongs to the long-term priorities of the Czech Republic’s foreign policy. We actively engage in OSCE and EU election observation missions and encourage relevant institutions and states to implement recommendations of these missions.

The Czech Republic considers election observation to be one of the most efficient OSCE tools for democracy support in all participating States. We strongly support ODIHR’s observation methodology and call upon all OSCE participating States to invite the ODIHR to observe their national elections in accordance with their commitments as early as possible and without any restrictions.

We attach great importance to the election observation follow-up activities, including implementation of final reports recommendations. In this regard the Czech Republic provides financial support to projects of civil society aiming at the implementation of recommendations.

Finally, we are pleased to share with you our recent successful experience from Geneva. On September 26, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously adopted a resolution stressing the importance of equal political participation. This new initiative, which was introduced by the Czech Republic together with a cross-regional core group, has been cosponsored by 75 UN member states. The resolution confirms the right and the opportunity of every citizen to vote and to be elected by universal and equal suffrage, without unreasonable restrictions, in law or in practice. Furthermore, it urges all states to eliminate barriers that limit full and effective participation of all segments of society, including women or minorities, in political affairs. In this connection, we welcome the fact that the resolution has been supported by the overwhelming majority of OSCE participating States as co-sponsors.

Thank you for your attention.