EIGHTH CONFERENCE. INTER-AMERICAN UNION OF ELECTORAL BODIES (UNIORE) 7-10 August, 2006

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1 EIGHTH CONFERENCE INTER-AMERICAN UNION OF ELECTORAL BODIES () 7-10 August, 2006 The delegates, representing the electoral bodies of Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia and Uruguay, meeting on the occasion of the Eighth Conference of the Inter-American Union of Electoral Bodies, held in Panama City, Panama, from 7 to 10 August 2006, in our capacity as members of, Reaffirming our unshakable faith in democracy as the system that offers peoples the possibility of fully exercising their freedom and sovereignty, and of enjoying their civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights, and after lengthy deliberations, HEREBY AGREE TO 1. Approve the Report of Activities presented by the Executive Secretariat of for the period February August Draw attention to the fact that the inter-american system has led the way in recognizing democracy as a right of peoples and of individuals, and, therefore, to intensify the efforts of the region s electoral organizations to defend and expand the standards, practices and guarantees that undergird the collective defense of democracy. 3. Take note of the variety of voting methods that some of the region s electoral bodies are putting into effect and request that the Executive Secretariat systematize this information, so that all the members of can draw on this resource. 4. Review the initiatives for cooperation among s member organizations and adopt a standard frame of reference based on the development of their best practices, a methodology for implementation and evaluation mechanisms.

2 5. Highlight the fact that international technical observation, carried out within the framework of absolute respect for the established legal order in the host country, is one of the activities that best characterizes and distinguishes. In view of this, the members of the Union pledge to place special emphasis on the procedures used to invite and accredit electoral observers, and to ensure that their representatives act in a conscientious and responsible way during such activities, and declare their intention to carry other observation missions observing the same rules of conduct. 6. Expand the initiatives for sharing information and for cooperation on electoral jurisprudence by providing further information and updating the databases and training available in this field; furthermore, to support the Secretariat s efforts to systematize and distribute this information among the member organizations. 7. Instruct the Executive Secretariat, working with s electoral bodies, to carry out academic activities and specialized studies with a view to developing protocols and other instruments that will help the members foresee or successfully address potential disputes that arise when the margin of victory in an election is very narrow, or other special situations. 8. Reiterate that the observance of pre-established standards of procedure, have been, and remain, the best guarantee that the will of the electorate is respected and, in view of that, to express the earnest hope that the present situation in Mexico will be resolved through democratic channels and within the country s legal order. 9. Express our appreciation for the support that, with the leadership of Elections Canada and the Electoral Advisory Committee of Jamaica, several members of have given to the electoral authorities of Haiti, and to instruct the Executive Secretariat to inform the Provisional Electoral Council of the activities of and the Tikal Protocol, so that the Council can consider the possibility of joining these organizations. 10. Acknowledge the role played by the electoral body of Panama and, in particular, its judges Eduardo Valdés, Dennis Allen and Erasmo Pinilla, in the construction of Panama s contemporary democracy and in the development of the inter-american electoral institutional framework and the extensive use of horizontal cooperation in the region. 2

3 11. Thank the delegation from the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of El Salvador for its kind offer to host the Ninth Conference of the Inter-American Union of Electoral Bodies, which will be held in 2008, and to gratefully accept that offer; and to select Nicaragua as the alternate site, in view of the kind offer made by the Supreme Electoral Council. 3

4 The Conference: CONGRATULATIONS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks the Electoral Tribunal of Panama, its Eduardo Valdés Escoffery and judges Erasmo Pinilla and Dennis Allen for their excellent organization of the event and for the generous and warm hospitality with which the participating delegations, speakers and special guests were received. Acknowledges the efforts of the officials of the Electoral Tribunal, the Organizing Committee of the 20 th Conference and the Public Relations Department to organize this Conference efficiently. Thanks Dr. Augusto Ramírez Ocampo for his lecture on The state of democracy in the Americas in the early years of the 21st century. The new challenges in a situation of change. Thanks Rafael López Pintor, a professor and renowned international expert, Clelia América Sánchez de Alfonso, of the National Electoral Council of Colombia, Luis Antonio Sobrado, a judge of the Supreme Elections Tribunal of Costa Rica, Néstor Colón, Vice of the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico, and Rafael Dendia, a judge of the Supreme Court of Electoral Justice of Paraguay, for their outstanding participation as speakers in this 20 th Conference of the Tikal Protocol. Salutes and acknowledges the work of the judges whose mandate concludes in Thanks the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIHR), through its program area the Center for Electoral Promotion and Assistance (CAPEL), the Executive Secretariat of the Association of Electoral Bodies of Central America and the Caribbean, the of the General Assembly, Sonia Picado, the Executive Director, Roberto Cuéllar Martínez, the Director of CAPEL, José Thompson, and other Institute officials for their efforts to strengthen the Association and for the support provided to the Electoral Tribunal of Panama for the organization of this Conference. Done at Panama City, Panama, on 10 August

5 On behalf of the Electoral Tribunal of Panama Eduardo Valdés Escoffery Erasmo Pinilla Vice Dennis Allen Frías Regular Member On behalf of the Electoral Commission of Antigua and Barbuda Augustine Agnes Blaize Member Lorna E. Simon Supervisor of Elections On behalf of the National Electoral Court of Argentina Rodolfo Emilio Munné On behalf of the National Electoral Court of Bolivia Salvador Romero Elías Jorge Valdés, Electoral Court of Pando On behalf of Elections Canada Miriam Lapp 5

6 Director of International Research and Cooperation On behalf of the Elections Tribunal of Chile Milton Juica Arancibia Nibaldo Safe On behalf of the Electoral Service of Chile Juan Ignacio García Director José Goddard Head of Informatics On behalf of the National Electoral Council of Colombia Clelia America Sánchez de Alfonso Germán Bustillo Nydia Restrepo Luis Eduardo Botero On behalf of the National Registry Office of Colombia Carlos Coronel 6

7 Deputy Registrar Álvaro Echeverry Londoño Director of Election Management On behalf of the Supreme Elections Tribunal of Costa Rica Luis Antonio Sobrado Ovelio Rodríguez On behalf of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Ecuador Patricio Torres Regular Member On behalf of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of El Salvador Walter Araujo Julio Moreno Niños On behalf of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Guatemala Oscar Edmundo Bolaños Roberto Valenzuela Zoila Alicia Villela 7

8 On behalf of the National Elections Tribunal of Honduras José Saúl Escobar Jacobo Hernández On behalf of the Electoral Advisory Committee of Jamaica Earl Simpson Deputy Director of Elections Linton Walters Member On behalf of the Federal Electoral Institute of Mexico Virgilio Andrade Electoral Counselor Manuel Carrillo Poblano Coordinator of International Affairs On behalf of the Federal Electoral Tribunal of Mexico Gerardo Sánchez García Adviser on the Coordination of Relations with Electoral Agencies Héctor Daniel García Judicial Training Center 8

9 On behalf of the Supreme Electoral Council of Nicaragua José Luis Villavicencio On behalf of the High Court of Electoral Justice of Paraguay Rafael Dendia Aguayo José Salinas Electoral Tribunal of Misiones Carmelo Caballero Electoral Investigator On behalf of the National Elections Board of Peru Enrique Mendoza Percy Peñaranda On behalf of the National Office of Electoral Processes of Peru Magdalena Chú National Chief Alejandro Santo Morán Adviser on International Relations On behalf of the State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico 9

10 Ramón E. Gómez Colón Néstor Colón First Vice On behalf of the Central Electoral Board of the Dominican Republic Luis Arias Núñez Luis Nelson Pantaleón González On behalf of the Electoral Commission of Saint Lucia Kenneth A. P. Monplaisir Chairman Claudius Francis Member On behalf of the Electoral Court of Uruguay Carlos Alberto Urruty Navatta Renán Rodríguez On behalf of the Executive Secretariat IIHR/CAPEL Roberto Cuéllar Executive Director 10

11 IIHR José Thompson Director CAPEL 11

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