17 October 2013

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General, in Message to Global Electoral Organizations Conference,


Stresses Need for Clean Elections, Acceptance of Legitimate Results


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the Global Electoral Organizations (GEO) conference and inauguration of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB), in Seoul on 17 October:

Honourable Justice Lee In-Bok, the Chairperson of the National Election Commission of Republic of Korea, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

I congratulate Korea’s National Election Commission and the Association of Asian Election Authorities on establishing the Association of World Election Bodies, or A-WEB.

More Member States than ever use elections to peacefully determine the will of the people.  Election bodies are networking across countries.  This Conference is a chance for more collaboration.  “A-WEB” can strengthen your partnership.

An electoral process is about more than an accurate outcome.  You need broad consultation and consensus on the rules.  And you need impartial, honest and capable authorities.  Elections must be transparent, neutral and inclusive — involving women and minorities.  All citizens must be heard.

Elections may be technical — but fundamentally they are political.  More sophisticated technology does not necessarily increase confidence.  Leaders and candidates must conduct clean elections — and accept legitimate results.

Your work is essential for peace and stability.  Today’s event and the GEO Conference are valuable opportunities for you to strengthen democracy around the world.

I wish you a very productive meeting.  Thank you.

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For information media • not an official record