A special event showcasing the “Access to Electoral Processes” E BRIDGE module was held on 13th September at the 21st ACEEEO Annual Conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. This was the first time BRIDGE was conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the first time BRIDGE was delivered as part of an ACEEEO (Association of European Election Officials) conference.
The theme of the 21st ACEEEO Annual Conference hosted by the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 13 till 15 September 2012. was: “Participation of Vulnerable Groups in Election Processes: Minorities and Persons with Disabilities”. The main idea behind this topic is to give the floor to those experiences and questions that can draw the international community’s attention toward the importance of the participation of vulnerable groups in election processes.
At this conference there were numerous countries represented: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine,
Also participating were people from organisations representing IGOs, INGOs and people with physical and intellectual disabilities.
At this conference, on the UN International Day of Democracy on 15 September 2012, the conference participants amended and endorsed the “Sarajevo Declaration on Electoral Access for Persons with Disabilities, and Persons Belonging to Minorities” – a statement to guide and inspire the member states and election authorities of ACEEEO.
Also as a side event to this conference was the Second Meeting to discuss the establishment of an Association of World Election Bodies – which made much progress to this initiative by the South Korean Election Commission.
Also at this conference, IFES celebrated its 25th anniversary. More information on the conference is available on the conference website: aceeeo.org
The BRIDGE showcase was conducted by Yvonne Goudie (writer of the “Access to Electoral Processes” module, and comprised activities from the Access module, newly developed activities, and activities from the DG (Democracy and Governance) program, showcasing the BRIDGE program to over 20 participants who experienced BRIDGE for the first time.