Madrid 04 September 2018
Sultan Bin Hassan Al-Jamali, Executive Director of the Arab Network of National Human Rights Institution, Doha based reminded that the Paris Principles gave national institutions a distinguished position at the national and international levels and a broad mandate to enable them to promote and protect human rights in their countries.
It has been building and upgrading its capacities and developing its cadres. This was done in a self-way and in cooperation with the international organizations, especially the United Nations. It also established regional networks such as the Arab Network,
His remarks were made on the occasion of second round of experts on the first draft of a systematic guide to monitoring human rights in the elections, organised by Arab Network in partnership with UNDP under the chairmanship of Sultan Al-Jamali in Madrid, Spain on 3-4 September 2018.
Among other participants were Pedro Martínez Aval, Director General, Arab House Foundation and Luis Martínez Pietanzos, President, Regional Program for Electoral Support in the Arab States, United Nations Development Program.
AlJamali said that elections are one of the elements of promoting democracy in their countries as being one of the most important tool of democracy, if it is transparent and credible.
He also touched on the background of the project of the draft methodological guide, indicating the steps that took place in this experiment until it reached the second expert table. He explained that the General Secretariat of the Network organized three training workshops on election monitoring and the role of national institutions to monitor the elections. He told that first workshop was held in Jordan in partnership with UNDP and cooperation with a member of the network, the National Center for Human Rights in Jordan, The National Human Rights Commission in Sudan, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the third in Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman.
The workshop dealt with human rights instruments on elections, monitoring human rights during the elections, and discussed the legal framework for the elections in terms of laws and procedures in line with international human rights standards and practices, the role of national human rights institutions, governmental and non-governmental organizations and various stakeholders.
The second workshop focused on the electoral systems and their main components and types in the world and the Arab region. It also dealt with representation and its standards, while highlighting the links between different forms of representation and the interests of politicians. The difference between monitoring, monitoring and supervision of the elections, including all stages of the electoral process (before, during and after) as well as all the roles of the stakeholders (supervision, monitoring and monitoring) in terms of objectivity and technicality, linking the subject of freedom and transparency of elections to democracy, freedom of opinion and expression, And their intersection with the promotion and protection of human rights.
Al-Jamali said that the results of the previous two workshops worked in cooperation with the Arab Network for the development of a guide to national human rights institutions showing their role in monitoring the elections and the criteria governing this role.
He said that Muscat workshop dealt with monitoring the role of the media during the elections, and aimed to familiarize the international legislations and laws related to human rights during the elections, and discuss means and mechanisms to observe the media coverage of the elections and the importance of obtaining honest information during the elections. The public to express their will through the ballot box, the freedom to choose who represents it, and the exchange of experiences and best practices in this regard, and thus we have addressed the subject of elections in all areas.
The second round table of the report discussed a package of topics on the role of national human rights institutions in the elections, the methodological production initiative, the second chapter of the “Principles and Criteria” and the third chapter of the guide, “The role of national human rights institutions in monitoring Elections “and Chapter IV of the Manual” Monitoring Human Rights at the Different Stages of the Electoral Cycle “.
The meeting concluded with a collective working session on the preparation of case studies to be presented in the Handbook as possible examples from the Arab region.