News

News

UNDEF is delighted that Jeffrey Wright has accepted the UN Secretary-General’s invitation to serve on the UNDEF Advisory Board for 2012-13. An award-winning film, television, and stage actor acclaimed for his versatility, with roles in productions ranging from James Bond movies and Angels in America to the recent electoral thriller Ides of March and the Academy Award-nominated Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Mr. Wright is also the co-founder and chair of Taia Peace Foundation, which works to empower rural communities in Africa, especially in Sierra Leone. Mr. more >>
Although recent Liberian elections have generally been pronounced free and fair by the international community, studies show that even more than a decade after the end of armed conflict, some voters vote out of fear and ignorance. This is particularly true of rural women and youth, many of whom are illiterate and have no access to civic or voter education. This, in turn, contributes to wider governance challenges and corruption. more >>
The first UNDEF-funded Women Leadership School – one of four planned worldwide – was launched by the Women’s Democracy Network in Tbilisi, Georgia on 27-29 January. The 25 students, aged 19 to 35, include journalists, political party activists, university students and civil society representatives. A student mentor from the group was selected to help conduct the next Georgia session in the next few months in Kutaisi, providing an immediate opportunity to use the leadership skills she learned during the January training. more >>
With UNDEF support, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance has now been ratified by 15 nations – a milestone which means the Charter will now enter into force. To take effect, the Charter requires at least 15 Member States to sign and ratify. On 16 January 2012, Cameroon became the 15th country to deposit its instrument of ratification with the African Union Commission. As per Article 48 of the Charter, it will enter into force on 15 February, 2012. more >>
In Bangladesh, UNDEF funds an initiative to advance pro-poor and democratic governance in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The project works in over 200 villages to step up interaction between organizations of poor tribal peoples and local government administration. It recently held a series of activities in the districts of Baghaichari, Rangamati and Kaptai, including courtyard capacity building sessions on democracy and good governance; sharing sessions between villagers and field staff; advocacy facilitation; group work presentation; baseline survey sessions; and social mapping. more >>
An UNDEF-funded online directory of parliamentary committees and NGOs was launched to bridge the divide between Pakistan’s Parliament and civil society. It will serve as a resource tool for Parliament to facilitate the use of professional research sources in addressing issues relevant to the Committees. This is essential in Pakistan, where Parliament and parliamentary committees have limited in-house research capacity. more >>
In Central Asia, NGOs and independent media often have nowhere to turn for support on new media technology, with little or no in-house knowledge and commercial alternatives that are far too expensive. That’s why UNDEF funds a new media clinic in the region. A new group of Central Asian journalists and NGO workers just completed a two-month training programme, which is run by TOL and focuses on using social media for advancing organizations’ content and causes, as well as managing and maintaining websites in general. more >>
Democratic Republic of Congo, UNDEF supports a project that promotes participatory democracy by creating clubs for Democratic Action. The project is implemented by the Organization Peace, Unity, Reconciliation, Reconstruction (OPURR). With funding from UNDEF OPURR was chosen to awareness and voter education during the presidential and legislative elections in November 2011 in the DRC. Democratic Action Clubs have been established throughout the city of Kinshasa.   more >>
A task force formed to support China's rural women’s participation in local politics convened in Shaanxi province in November 2011, as part of an UNDEF-funded project to empower women in areas where patriarchal values still dominate village governance. The group brought together representatives from Shaanxi, Heilongjiang and Hebei as well as Huazhong Normal University to discuss strategies and best practices. A few weeks earlier, the project held extensive training sessions in survey and interviewing techniques in Heibei Province. more >>
An UNDEF-funded project in Rajasthan, India, completed its work in 2011 to strengthen the leadership of women elected to Gram Panchayats, or village councils. The project provided training to more than 2,000 elected women and raised the profile of women's political leadership by engaging with the Ministry of Rural Development, media, the state election commission, and civil society. In addition to strengthening the knowledge and confidence of elected women, the programme addressed practical concerns, misinformation, and women's legal rights. more >>

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