United Nations

A/50/332


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

7 August 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Item 41 of the provisional agenda*


SUPPORT BY THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM OF THE EFFORTS OF GOVERNMENTS
TO PROMOTE AND CONSOLIDATE NEW OR RESTORED DEMOCRACIES

Report of the Secretary-General


CONTENTS

  Paragraphs  Page

I.  INTRODUCTION .........................................1 - 103

II.  PROMOTING A DEMOCRATIC CULTURE .......................11 - 384

  A.  Political parties and movements ..................  14 - 225

  B.  Free and independent media .......................  23 - 306

  C.  Building a political culture through civic
    education ........................................  31 - 387

III.  ELECTORAL ASSISTANCE .................................39 - 778

  A.  Organization and conduct of elections ............  47 - 5419

  B.  Supervision ......................................  55 - 5920

  C.  Verification .....................................  60 - 6621

  D.  Coordination and support for international
    observers ........................................  67 - 7223

                       

  *  A/50/150.


95-23405 (E)   160895/...
*9523405*
CONTENTS (continued)

  Paragraphs  Page

  E.  Support for national election observers ..........     7324

  F.  Technical assistance .............................  74 - 7624

  G.  Observation ......................................     7725

IV.  BUILDING INSTITUTIONS FOR DEMOCRACY ..................78 - 12025

  A.  Creating and strengthening democratic structures
    of government ....................................  82 - 9326

  B.  Enhancing the rule of law ........................  94 - 10328

  C.  Improving accountability, transparency and quality
    in public sector management ......................  104 - 11430

  D.  Capacity-building and civil service report .......  115 - 12033

V.  OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS .....................121 - 13134

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON SUPPORT BY THE UNITED
NATIONS SYSTEM OF THE EFFORTS OF GOVERNMENTS TO PROMOTE
AND CONSOLIDATE NEW OR RESTORED DEMOCRACIES

I.  INTRODUCTION

1.   In  its  resolution 49/30  of 7  December  1994, the  General  Assembly
requested me to study "the ways and mechanisms  in which the United  Nations
system could support the efforts of  Governments to promote and  consolidate
new or restored democracies", and to present a comprehensive report on  this
subject  to  the  General Assembly  at its  fiftieth  session.   The present
report is submitted pursuant to the request contained in that resolution.

2.   The First International Conference of New  or Restored Democracies took
place at Manila in  June 1988.   The Second International Conference of  New
or  Restored  Democracies was  held  at  Managua  from 4  to  6  July  1994.
Thirteen Member States  took part in the Manila meeting; 74 were represented
at Managua.

3.   In  its resolution  49/30, the  Assembly  noted  the importance  of the
Declaration  and Plan  of Action  adopted  by the  Managua conference.    In
preparing  the present report,  I have  therefore paid  careful attention to
those  documents. I  have  also  drawn on  other material  prepared  for, or
issued by, the Manila  and Managua conferences.  In addition, in response to
a request from me, a number of United  Nations entities provided information
about their experience in responding to  requests from Member States seeking
to  promote or  consolidate  democracy.   I  am grateful  to them  for their
helpful contributions.   The information that  they provided  has enabled me
to  draw  some  tentative conclusions  from  the  experience already  gained
within  the United Nations system.   They appear in chapter V of the present
report.

4.   In preparing  the present report,  it has become  clear to me  that, to
avoid  misunderstandings about  the  nature  and scope  of the  work  of the
United  Nations in this  field, a  number of  preliminary clarifications are
needed.

5.  The United  Nations system, in assisting  and supporting the  efforts of
Governments to  promote and  consolidate new  or restored  democracies, does
not endorse or promote any specific form of government.  Democracy is not  a
model to  be copied from certain  States, but  a goal to be  attained by all
peoples and assimilated by  all cultures.  It may take many forms, depending
on the characteristics and circumstances of societies.  That is why, in  the
present  report,  I  do  not  attempt  to  define  democracy  but  refer  to

democratization.

6.  By democratization, I mean a process  by which an authoritarian  society
becomes  increasingly  participatory  through such  mechanisms  as  periodic
elections  to   representative  bodies,     the  accountability  of   public
officials, a  transparent  public administration,  an independent  judiciary
and a free press.  It is inherent in this  concept that democratization does
not necessarily lead immediately to a fully  democratic society.  That  goal
may  be attained  only in  steps,  with  an authoritarian  society gradually
becoming  less  so.   The  pace  at which  democratization  can  proceed  is
inevitably  dependent  on  a  variety  of  political, economic,  social  and
cultural factors some of which, in a given  society, may not be  susceptible
to rapid change.
  7.   The United Nations stands  ready to assist  States in this process of
democratization, when requested  to do so  by a  Member State,  and in  ways
agreed by the Government of that State.

8.  The present report draws on, and  brings together, the very considerable
fund  of experience that  United Nations  entities have  already acquired in
work   in  support   of  democratization   processes.     It  describes  the
circumstances  in   which  such  processes   are  most   likely  to  develop
effectively,  and provides  an  inventory of  actions  which  experience has
shown to be useful  in supporting democratization processes.   Chapter II of
the  present  report  describes  ways  in   which  the  United  Nations  can
facilitate  the   democratization  process  through   the  promotion  of   a
participatory  culture and  an open  society.   Chapter III  shows what  the
United  Nations  has  actually  done  in  the  concrete  field  of electoral
assistance to Member States.  Finally, in chapter IV, I examine  the role of
the United  Nations system and other  actors of  the international community
in assisting  States  to build  institutions  that  support the  process  of
democratization.

9.   The  transformation of  a political  entity into  an independent  State
through a  process of popular participation  may provide  a sound foundation
for a  culture of  democratization.  The  United Nations was  present, in  a
number  of  cases,  at  the  very   birth  of  independent  nations  through
internationally validated  processes of  democratic participation.   In  the
course of the past  four decades from Togoland in  1956 to Eritrea in 1993 -
the  United  Nations  has  observed  and  supervised  over  30  plebiscites,
referenda,  elections and  other  acts of  selfdetermination,  many  of them
sponsored by the Trusteeship Council.  

10.   Seen  from this perspective,  United Nations work in assisting  States
in their  efforts to promote and  consolidate new or restored democracies is
not new. However, recent  requests made by Member  States for United Nations
electoral  and institution-building  assistance, and  the decisions  of  the
Manila and Managua conferences, reflect the  changing nature of the requests
that Member States are making for assistance from the United Nations. 


II.  PROMOTING A DEMOCRATIC CULTURE

11.  Democratization processes  in general will take root in a society  only
if a number of  conditions are met.   First and foremost,  there must  exist
the political will  - both at  the government level and in  the community of
citizens  at  large  -  to  move  towards  a  more  democratic  approach  to
government.

12.   Secondly, citizens in such a community must also  be provided with the
means to  participate democratically in the decision-making processes of the
society. Minimum preconditions in this regard  would include the ability (a)
to participate in free  and fair elections; and (b) to associate freely  and
form political  parties or movements, thus  allowing a  multiparty system or
coalitions  of parties  and  movements to  develop; and  (c)  to  enjoy full
access to information including the resources of independent media.

13.     Thirdly,   these  requirements  are  not,   however,  sufficient  in
themselves. Democracy cannot be based on forms alone:  if it  is to function
as an  effective  process, it  requires  a  developed and  articulate  civil
society, as well as a political  culture of participation and  consultation.
Action  by  the United  Nations  can  assist  States to  put  in  place  the
institutions and  mechanisms  of democracy;  but experience  has shown  that
action  to  strengthen the  underlying  culture  of  democracy  may also  be
required.


A.  Political parties and movements

14.  Today, States  that are seeking to  promote or consolidate processes of
democratization  are often  involved in  a  transition  from a  single party
system of  government  to a  multiparty  system,  which may  include  former
liberation or rebel movements.

15.  The circumstances  in which demands for  such a transition  arise vary:
they may  result  from internal  or  external  pressures.   In  some  cases,
internal pressures  are generated  as a  result of  political movements  for
change or  demands for economic  improvement.   External pressures generally
originate with the international donor community, which  may link assistance
to progress  in such  sectors as  governance and  human rights.   In  either
case, the timing of the decision to move  towards a multiparty system cannot
be predicted, nor can the course of that transition be charted in advance.

16.  In these circumstances, the creation or  consolidation of a culture  of
democracy can be  greatly facilitated if training is provided for members of
political parties and movements. 

17.  In  new or restored  democracies, political parties  can be  encouraged
and given the  means to contribute in an  active and constructive manner  to
the  political  debate and  to  transcend  the  purely  tribal or  religious
affiliations on which they are sometimes based. 

18.  United Nations experience in this field  has come from its  involvement
in multidimensional  peace operations.   Particularly in countries  emerging
from  long and  violent civil wars,  the United Nations  has facilitated the
transformation of rebel armed movements into established political  parties.


19.   In  Mozambique,  for example,  the Electoral  Division  of  the United
Nations Operation in  Mozambique (ONUMOZ) provided assistance for  political
parties through  a "Trust Fund for Registered Political Parties".  The Trust
Fund played  a  particularly positive  role  in  the transformation  of  the
Resistencia  Nacional de Mocambique  (RENAMO) into  a political  party.  The
Electoral Division also put forward a plan for  a political party monitoring
programme which involved training and disbursement  of subsidies as well  as
the  deployment of  approximately  30,000 political  party  monitors  to the
polling stations  on  election days.    Political  party members  were  also
trained  to  observe  the  computerized  tabulation  of  the  vote  count at
provincial and national counting centres. 

20.   In  Cambodia, my  Special  Representative and  his team  held  regular
consultations   with  leaders   of  all   major  political   parties,   thus
contributing to their integration into the political mainstream. 

 21.   In El  Salvador, with  the assistance of the  United Nations Observer
Mission  in  El  Salvador  (ONUSAL),  the  Frente  Farabundo  Marti  para la
Liberacion Nacional  (FMLN) transformed itself into a political party, which
participated in national elections in 1992.

22.  It is not  always possible for the United Nations  on its own  to carry
out full training programmes for political  party members.  Its  involvement
could  be seen  as  interference in  the  political life  of  the  recipient
country  or could lead  to accusations  of favouritism  towards one specific

party.  This important  task, therefore, is sometimes  better carried out by
other actors,  such as non-governmental organizations  (NGOs).   In the same
case  of Cambodia, for example, training was conducted  mainly by two United
States-based  organizations,  the  National  Democratic  Institute  and  the
International Republican Institute.


B.  Free and independent media

23.  Free and responsible communications  media are essential for  effective
democratization.  Independent and free media  that allocate time equally  to
all political actors and  report impartially to  the general public help  to
guarantee freedom  of thought and the  unimpeded flow of  ideas, and promote
dialogue  among  people.   They  provide  a  means  of exposing  corruption,
mismanagement, discrimination, impunity and injustice.

24.   The  United Nations  assists Governments  to create the  conditions in
which free  and independent media  can fulfil this  important role.   At the
same  time,  the media  must build  responsible self-policing  mechanisms to
ensure that high levels of journalistic integrity are observed. 

25.   In many  countries, however,  vibrant, independent media  have yet  to
emerge. In such cases,  there is scope for  United Nations assistance, which
can  take a  number  of forms.    For  instance,  the Department  of  Public
Information of  the United  Nations  Secretariat, together  with the  United
Nations Educational, Scientific  and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and  in
cooperation with  the United  Nations Development Programme  (UNDP), held  a
regional  seminar on promoting  an independent and pluralistic African press
in  Namibia in  1991.  Development agencies  from Canada,  Denmark, Finland,
Germany, Norway  and Sweden  supported the  seminar, which  was attended  by
African  journalists,  media  representatives,  entrepreneurs,  and  policy-
makers in information.  They discussed constitutional, legal, political  and
human resource  development issues and adopted the "Declaration on Promoting
an  Independent and  Pluralistic  African  Press".   In addition,  a  set of
recommendations related to the improvement of information and  communication
infrastructures  of African  countries was  approved for  implementation  by
UNESCO  through   its  International  Programme   for  the  Development   of
Communication.

26.    A similar  seminar  was  held  for Asian  media  in  1992 at  Almaty,
Kazakstan.  In  addition   to  media  professionals  and  policy-makers   in
information,  a  number  of  regional  media  organizations,  communications
research  institutions and NGOs  attended this  event, which  also adopted a
declaration and agreed on specific project  proposals to promote freedom  of
the press as a vital element in development and democratization.
  27.  In 1994, the Department  of Public Information, together with UNESCO,
UNDP  and  the  Government  of  Chile,   organized  a  seminar  to   support
independent  and pluralistic  media  in  the  Latin American  and  Caribbean
region.   The seminar,  which brought  together 400  communicators from  the
region, emphasized media  development in both rural and overpopulated  urban
areas.  As  was the case  with the  earlier regional  meetings, the  seminar
provided  an  opportunity  to  evaluate  the  needs  and  concerns  of media
practitioners in  the region and to propose, in the  Declaration of Santiago
and its Plan of Action, a series of recommendations and concrete projects. 

28.  Currently, the Department of  Public Information, in close  cooperation
with UNESCO and UNDP,  is preparing a seminar  on media development  for the
Arab region to be held in Yemen in January 1996.

29.   All these seminars  and efforts have helped sensitize the professional
community, Governments  and  the  public at  large to  the  issues of  press
freedom  and  pluralism and  have  led  to  many  practical initiatives  and
assistance projects, such as the establishment  of media resource centres in
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

30.     I  anticipate  that  many   more  such  experiences  will  occur  as

democratization  takes  root  in  national societies  that  have  chosen  to
advance and consolidate their democratic institutions.


C.  Building a political culture through civic education

31.    Some  countries  that   have  moved  from  single  party  systems  or
authoritarian regimes to multiparty electoral systems  have done so  without
modifying constitutional  provisions affecting the  structure of the  State.
In  other words,  their constitutions  reproduce the concentration  of power
and  authoritarianism  of   the  previous  regime.     The  transition  from
authoritarianism to a  more participatory regime requires long-term  efforts
in  public information and  civic education  to ensure  general awareness of
the new reality and to provide the citizens with a say in its definition.

32.   In  particular,  for  the success  of  any  electoral process,  it  is
essential  that  voters  participating  in  it   for  the  first  time  have
confidence in  the credibility of the  voting process  and its institutions.
Every  effort  must be  made,  therefore,  to  ensure  that  the conduct  of
elections  is  credible and  transparent.   The  secrecy  of  the  ballot is
essential. 

33.  Voter education can play a positive role, too.  Voting  demonstrations,
travelling  theatre   groups,  brochures,   newspaper  articles   and  radio
programmes can  help  to  familiarize  voters with  voting  procedures,  and
respond to their concerns.

34.  It is more difficult to provide voters with guidance  about the meaning
of the choice  they will make.   Voters may identify very  little with party
philosophies but  have strong  attachments to  particular personalities;  or
they  may be  influenced by  ethnic or  geographical factors.    Indeed, the
parties  may  not  actually be  distinguishable  on  policy  or  ideological
grounds. 
  35.   Voters  may lack  information,  for  example, about  the comparative
merits  of  single  party  and  multiparty  systems  of  government.   Civic
education  can, therefore, be  critical in  explaining the  range of choices
open to them.   It should be said,  however, that, particularly in countries
with  high  illiteracy rates,  the success  of  such an  approach cannot  be
guaranteed.

36.  Information was, for example, crucial  in preparing Cambodians for  the
elections  and  informing   them  about  the  United  Nations   Transitional
Authority  in Cambodia (UNTAC),  the Paris  agreements and  their rights and
responsibilities.  After  two  decades  of  fighting  and  isolation,   many
Cambodians had  little awareness  of the  changes that  had occurred in  the
outside  world,  and of  the  international  community's concern  for  their
country.  Many were  also sceptical about the  applicability in Cambodia  of
such  concepts  as  free  and   fair  elections  and   multiparty  political
campaigning.   In addition to the challenges posed by a sceptical population
and  by  partisan  propaganda,  UNTAC  also  faced  physical  obstacles   in
disseminating information.  The impact  of written material was reduced as a
result  of  low literacy  rates  throughout  the  country;  local radio  and
television facilities were  old, in bad repair and  had limited range.   One
of  UNTAC's most  effective measures  in  getting its  message out  was  the
creation of its own radio station.

37.    In  the  case  of  South  Africa,  the  United States-based  National
Democratic  Institute, together  with  the Centre  for  Development  Studies
based at  Capetown, initiated a comprehensive  voter education programme  as
early  as 1991.  Many Governments provided financial support for the locally
based efforts of South  African NGOs.   As part  of its mandate, the  United
Nations Observer Mission in South Africa  (UNOMSA) monitored the adequacy of
such programmes in  terms of content and  geographical coverage.   When gaps
were  identified, information about them was communicated to the Independent
Electoral Commission and relevant NGOs.

38.   The  Centre for  Human  Rights  also operates  in the  field of  civic
education.  Its activities have  included the  publication of  a handbook on
human rights and  elections, various public information programmes,  support
to  civic education endeavours,  and the  training of  public officials with
key  roles in elections. In Angola, for instance, the Centre cooperated with
the United  Nations Angola Verification Mission  II (UNAVEM)  in arranging a
pre-election  seminar  on  democracy,   human  rights  and   free  and  fair
elections.   The target  audiences were  political parties,  law enforcement
officials,  the  media,  NGOs  and  electoral  officers  at  the   national,
provincial and municipal levels.  Similarly,  in Malawi, the United  Nations
Secretariat,  together  with UNDP,  organized  a  colloquium  on  democratic
transition  for  government  and  opposition  leaders  following  the   1993
referendum on multi- or single-party Government.


III.  ELECTORAL ASSISTANCE

39.   Requests for electoral assistance  from sovereign  Member States began
to be received  by the United Nations after 1989.  Between 1989  and 1992, 7
requests for  electoral assistance were addressed  to the  United Nations by
Member States; by June 1995 the  number had risen to a  total of 89 requests
(see table 1). 


  Table 1.  Number of requests for electoral assistance per year


No. of requests received
No. of requests acceptedBefore 1992
7
7During 1992
32
29During 1993
22
18During 1994
17
131 January-30 June 1995
11
10Total as of 30 June 1995
89
77


40.   This demand can be  attributed to the following  general causes:   (a)
the end of the  cold war as  well as peace agreements in several  regions of
the world, (b)  the new emphasis  on democratic  processes in the  republics
which  had  formed  part  of  the  Soviet  Union,  and  (c)  the  desire  of
Governments  in  some  developing  countries  to  introduce  or   strengthen
democratization processes.

41.  In view of the increasing demand for  electoral assistance, in 1991 the
General Assembly requested the  Secretary-General to designate a focal point
to  assist   in  coordinating   and  considering   requests  for   electoral
assistance.  Currently,  my  Under-Secretary-General  for Political  Affairs
serves as the focal point. 

42.    The  tasks  of  the  focal  point  include  channelling requests  for
assistance  to  the  appropriate  office  or  programme,  ensuring   careful
consideration of requests,  development of an institutional memory in  order
to build on past experience, the development and  maintenance of a roster of
international election  experts  and  establishing  contacts  with  relevant
intergovernmental   organizations   to   promote   cooperation   and   avoid
duplication of  efforts.  The Electoral  Assistance Division  was created in
the Department of Political  Affairs in April 1992 to assist the focal point
in these tasks.

43.  The United  Nations provides seven basic forms of electoral assistance:
(a)   organization  and   conduct  of   elections,  (b)   supervision,   (c)
verification, (d) coordination and support for international observers,  (e)
support for national election  observers, (f) technical  assistance and  (g)
observation.   The first  three types  of assistance  require major missions
and the approval  of either  the Security Council  or the General  Assembly.
Missions  for organization and  conduct and  for verification have generally
been  undertaken in  the context  of  broader  peace-keeping operations.   A
detailed list of  electoral operations, categorized by types of  assistance,
is provided in table 2.


            Table 2.  Requests from Member States to the United Nations
                     system for electoral assistance
                     (in alphabetical order)


Member
State
Date of
request
Period of assistance

United Nations responseAlbania
2/1992
3/1992
Provided technical assistance. Elections held in March 1992.Angola
5/1991 a/
4/1992-12/1992
Provided   verification   and   technical   assistance.   Presidential   and
legislative elections held in September 1992.Argentina
9/1992
11/1992-6/1994
Provided technical assistance. Elections held in October 1993.Armenia
1/1995
2/1995-ongoing
Providing  coordination and support.   Legislative  elections to  be held in
July 1995.Azerbaijan
5/1992
       -Rejected request for observers for the Presidential  elections to be
held on 7 June 1992 because of insufficient lead time.
8/1993
       -Rejected request for observers  for the referendum to be held on  29
August 1993  because  of insufficient  lead  time  and absence  of  enabling
environment.
6/1995
6/1995
Conducted needs  assessment mission  in connection  with upcoming  elections
scheduled for November 1995.Bangladesh
2/1995
3/1995
Conducted  needs   assessment   mission.      Date  of   elections   to   be
announced.Belarus
5/1994
       -Rejected  request for observers for the Presidential elections to be
held on 23 June 1994 because of insufficient lead time.Benin
3/1995
3/1995
Provided  coordination and  support.   Legislative elections  held in  March
1995.Brazil
11/1993
12/1993-12/1994
Provided   technical  assistance.   General   elections  held   in   October
1994.Burundi
12/1992 b/
5/1993-6/1993

Provided  technical assistance  and  coordination and  support. Presidential
and legislative elections held in June 1993.Cambodia
10/1991 c/
11/1991-6/1993
Provided organization and conduct.  Elections held in May 1993.Cameroon
2/1992
2/1992-3/1992
Provided  observation (follow and  report).   Legislative elections  held in
March 1992.Central African Republic
6/1992 b/
10/1992
Provided coordination and support.  General elections held in October 1992.
7/1993
8/1993-9/1993
Provided observation (follow and report).   General elections held in August
and September 1993.Chad
12/1992
1/1993-4/1993
Provided technical assistance.
1/1995
3/1995-ongoing
Providing technical assistance. Date of elections to be announced.Colombia
2/1993
6/1993-12/1994
Provided technical assistance.Congo
7/1992
7/1993-8/1993
Provided  observation (follow  and report).  Presidential  elections held in
August 1992.
11/1992
5/1993
Provided coordination and support.  Legislative elections held in May 1993.
3/1995
       -Rejected   request  for  observers   for  the   last  phase  of  the
Legislative elections to  be held on  9 April  1995 because of  insufficient
lead time.Cote d'Ivoire
4/1995
7/1995-ongoing
Conducting  a  needs   assessment  mission  in  connection  with   elections
scheduled for the last quarter of 1995.Djibouti
8/1992
9/1992
Provided observation  (follow and  report).   Referendum  held in  September
1992.
11/1992
12/1992
Provided coordination and  support.  Legislative  elections held in December
1992.
3/1993
5/1993
Provided  coordination  and  support.   Presidential elections  held  in May
1993.El Salvador
6/1992
8/1992
Provided technical assistance.
1/1993
4/1993-3/1995
Provided  verification and technical assistance.  General  elections held in
March and April 1994.Equatorial Guinea
3/1993
4/1993-ongoing
Providing technical assistance.
7/1993
      -Rejected  request to  send observers  for the elections  scheduled to
take  place in September  1993 because  of absence  of enabling environment.
Elections subsequently postponed until November 1993.Eritrea

5/1992
1-5/1993
Verification and technical assistance.Estonia
6/1992
      -Rejected  request for observers  for the referendum to  be held on 28
June 1992 because of insufficient lead time.Ethiopia
4/1992
5/1992-3/1994
Provided  coordination  and support  and  technical  assistance.    Regional
elections held in June 1992 and national elections in June 1994.Gabon
10/1993
11/1993-12/1993
Provided follow and report and technical assistance. Presidential  elections
held in December 1993.
5/1995
7/1995-ongoing
Conducting a needs assessment mission.Gambia
4/1995
5/1995-ongoing
Conducted a needs  assessment mission.   Technical assistance project  being
prepared.Ghana
4/1992
      -Offered  to coordinate  international  observers instead  of  sending
observers  for the Presidential  and Parliamentary  elections to  be held in
November and December 1992. Government rejected United Nations offer.Guinea
3/1992
5/1992-12/1993
Provided technical assistance and follow and report. Presidential  elections
held in December 1993.
4/1995
6/1995
Provided observation  (follow and  report).  Legislative  elections held  in
June 1995.Guinea-Bissau
12/1992
1/1993-8/1994
Provided  technical  assistance   and  coordination  and   support.  General
elections held in July 1994.Guyana
6/1992 b/
6/1992-10/1992
Provided technical assistance. Elections held in October 1992.Haiti
7/1990
11/1990-1/1991
Provided verification and technical  assistance.  General  elections held in
December 1990 and January 1991.
9/1994
10/1994-ongoing
Providing technical  assistance. First round  of legislative elections  held
in June 1995.Honduras
3/1994
6/1994-ongoing
Providing technical assistance.Hungary
4/1994
      -Rejected request for observers for the  Parliamentary elections to be
held on 8 May 1994 because of insufficient lead time.Kenya
11/1992
12/1992-1/1993
Provided coordination and support.   Legislative elections held  in December
1992.Kyrgyzstan
12/1994
1/1995-3/1995
Provided observation  (follow and report)  and assessment of  post-electoral
support. Parliamentary elections held in February 1995.Latvia
5/1993
      -Rejected  request  for a  United Nations  delegation  to observe  the
elections for the  5th Saeima (Parliament) to be  held in June 1993  because
of insufficient lead time.

4/1994
      -Rejected request  for observers for  the local authorities  elections
to be held in May 1994 because of insufficient lead time.Lesotho
8/1991
11/1991-12/1991
Provided technical assistance.
10/1992
12/1992-3/1993
Provided coordination and support.  General elections held in March 1993.
6/1994
12/1994
Conducted  needs   assessment  mission  for   possible  assistance  to   the
democratization process.Liberia
2/1992
5/1992
Provided technical assistance.
7/1993
8/1993-ongoing
Providing verification and technical assistance. d/Madagascar
3/1992
4/1992-12/1992
Provided  technical  assistance   and  follow  and   report.  Constitutional
referendum  held in  August 1992,  Presidential elections  held in  November
1992 and February 1993, and legislative elections held in June 1993.
4/1994
      -After requesting observers for the municipal  and local elections  to
be held in  July 1994, Government  did not  answer United  Nations offer  to
coordinate and support. Elections did not take place.Malawi
10/1992
11/1992-6/1993
Provided technical assistance and coordination and support. Referendum  held
in June 1993.
10/1993
11/1993-12/1994
Provided  technical assistance  and coordination  and support.  Presidential
and parliamentary elections held in May 1994.Mali
9/1991
12/1991-4/1993
Provided   technical  assistance   and  observation  (follow   and  report).
Elections held in April 1992.Mexico
4/1994
6/1994-5/1995
Provided  support  to  national   observers.    Elections   held  in  August
1994.Moldova
1/1994
2/1994-3/1994
Provided observation (follow  and report).   Parliamentary elections held in
February 1994.Mozambique
10/1992 e/
10/1992-12/1994
Provided   verification   and   technical   assistance.   Presidential   and
Parliamentary elections held in October 1994.Namibia
7/1994
5/1994-12/1994
Provided  coordination  and support.   General  elections  held in  December
1994.Netherlands (Netherlands Antilles)
6/1993
8-11/1993
United Nations representation in Referendum Commission (Curacao).
6/1994
10/1994
United Nations  representation in  Referendum Commission  (St. Maarten,  St.
Estacious and Saba).Nicaragua
3/1989 f/
8/1989-3/1990
Provided verification and  technical assistance. Elections held in  February

1990.
11/1993
12/1993-3/1994
Provided coordination and support and sent a team of observers from  ONUSAL.
Elections (Atlantic Coast) held in February 1994.Niger
6/1992
12/1992-3/1993
Provided  coordination  and support.    Referendum  held  in December  1992,
legislative elections in  February 1993, Presidential elections in  February
and March 1993.
12/1994
12/1994-1/1995
Provided  technical  assistance.  Parliamentary  elections held  in  January
1995.Panama
11/1993
12/1993-8/1994
Provided technical assistance.Paraguay
4/1993
5/1993-6/1993
Provided technical assistance  and observation (follow and report).  General
elections held in May 1993.Peru
1992 b/
7/1992-ongoing
Providing technical assistance.Philippines
11/1991 b/
4/1993-5/1993
Provided technical assistance.Romania
1990 b/
4/1990-5/1990
Provided technical assistance.
9/1992
9/1992-10/1992
Provided observation  (follow and report).   Parliamentary and  Presidential
elections held in September and October 1992.Russian Federation
10/1993
12/1993
Provided  observation (follow and  report).  Federal Assembly elections held
in December 1993.Rwanda
5/1992
6/1992
Provided technical assistance.Sao Tome and Principe
8/1994
10/1994
Provided  observation (follow and  report).   Legislative elections  held in
October 1994.Senegal
2/1993
3/1993-5/1993
Provided  observation (follow  and report).   Presidential  and  legislative
elections held in February and May 1993.Seychelles
6/1992
7/1992
Provided observation (follow and report).  Elections held in July 1992.
7/1993
7/1993
Provided  observation (follow  and report).   Presidential  and  legislative
elections held in July 1993.Sierra Leone
9/1993
10/1993
Provided technical assistance.
3/1994
6/1994 ongoing
Providing technical assistance.South Africa
12/1993
12/1993-5/1994
Provided verification.  General elections held in April 1994.Swaziland
5/1993

     -Rejected  request  for  financial  assistance  for  the  Parliamentary
elections to  be held  in 1993  because of  unavailability of  IPF funds.The
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
9/1994
10/1994
Provided observation  (follow and report).   Presidential and  Parliamentary
elections held in October 1994.Togo
4/1992
5/1992-12/1992
Provided technical assistance. Referendum held in September 1992.
7/1993
8/1993
Provided observation (follow and  report).  Presidential  elections held  in
August 1993.Uganda
10/1992
11/1992-ongoing
Provided  coordination  and  support.     Providing  technical   assistance.
Elections held in March 1994.
5/1995
Under consideration
Considering  request  for further  technical  assistance  to  the  Electoral
Commission.Ukraine
1/1994
3/1994
Provided observation (follow and  report).  Parliamentary  elections held in
March 1994.
6/1994
6/1994
Provided observation (follow  and report).  Presidential and local elections
held in June 1994.United Republic of Tanzania
9/1994
9/1994 (CHR)


4/1995 (EAD)
Conducted needs assessment mission. 

Conducted  needs  assessment  mission.    Coordination  and  support   under
consideration.
  a/  Date of the signing of the Estoril agreements.

  b/  Approximate date.

  c/  Date of the signing of the Paris agreements.

  d/  Assistance currently on hold.

  e/  Date of the signing of the general peace agreement.

  f/  This requestwas based upon the EsquipulasII Agreement of August 1987.


44.  The type of electoral  assistance that the United Nations provides to a
requesting  Member State  is normally  determined on  the basis  of a  needs
assessment mission to  the country.  Such missions  have two basic tasks:  a
realistic evaluation of the conditions for  the conduct of viable  elections
and an assessment  of the basic electoral needs  of the country.  Among  the
factors  to be considered  are the  provisions of  the existing constitution
and electoral  laws, the existence of  an independent electoral  commission,
the extent  to which  the schedule  of electoral  events ensures  sufficient
time for registration  and a meaningful  campaign, the views of  all parties
regarding  United   Nations  assistance  and   the  general  commitment   by
government to the conduct of a legitimate electoral process. 

45.   The  most frequent  problems  encountered  during a  needs  assessment
mission are:   (a)  lack  of material  resources,  resulting  in a  need  to

request the  international community  to finance  some of  the material  and
equipment  requested  for the  organization  of  an  election;  (b) lack  of
skilled  human  resources  in  areas  such  as  civic  education,  training,
delimitation    of   constituencies,   social   communications,   logistics,
demography and  information  systems;  (c)  weak  administrative  structures
within  the electoral bodies,  when they  exist; (d)  lack of identification
documents,   starting  with  birth   certificates;  (e)   a  high  level  of
illiteracy; (f)  lack of  a reliable  electoral register;  and (g)  problems
associated with distributing  electoral materials, as a result of  deficient
infrastructure   and  transport  facilities,  as  well  as  lack  of  proper
planning.

46.    All types  of  assistance can  be  adapted or  modified  to suit  the
particular  needs of the  requesting country;  often one  form of assistance
can  complement  another.    For  example,  technical  assistance  is  often
provided in  conjunction with  an observation  mission.   Although the  best
known forms  of assistance are large  electoral assistance  missions such as
those carried  out in  Namibia or  Cambodia, the  most frequently  requested
assistance  is technical, involving  one or  two consultants  for a specific
project over one or two months. 


A.  Organization and conduct of elections

47.    The  most  extensive  electoral  assistance  the  United  Nations has
provided was  for Cambodia.  This  operation, which  culminated in elections
in  1993,  was an  integral  component of  the  Paris agreements  signed  in
October 1991.   The  mission was  undertaken in  the context  of the  larger
UNTAC  mandate, which  was created  by the  Security Council  on 19 February
1992, together with approval of the necessary financing by Member States. 

48.   In  this case  the United  Nations was  given the  responsibility  for
organizing and  conducting the  elections, the  first time  it had  received
such responsibility.  UNTAC's  electoral duties were only  one aspect of its
larger responsibility  to  exercise  the  powers  necessary  to  ensure  the
implementation  of the Paris agreements.  Among its  military tasks were the
supervision  of  the cease-fire  and related  measures, verification  of the
withdrawal of foreign forces and their  non-return and an extensive demining
programme.    An  UNTAC  civilian   police  component  was  responsible  for
supervising  and  controlling  the local  police.    A  civic administration
component was  also established,  exercising direct  supervision over  those
administrative  agencies and  offices  which could  directly  influence  the
outcome of elections.   The Office of  the United Nations High  Commissioner
for Refugees  (UNHCR) was instrumental in  the repatriation  of some 365,000
Cambodian  refugees  between  30  March  1992   and  30  April  1993.  Other
components of the UNTAC mission included human rights and rehabilitation/
development. 

49.    On  1  April 1992  my  Special  Representative  presented  the  draft
electoral law drawn up  by UNTAC to the Supreme National Council and the law
was  formally promulgated in  August.   Voter registration  began in October
1992 and,  with  an extension  through  31  January  1993, resulted  in  the
registration  of some 4.7 million  voters, approximately 96 per  cent of the
eligible voting population.  The elections were scheduled  for 23 to 28  May
1993.

50.  If an election is to be successful, a  free and fair electoral campaign
is  essential.     The   role  of   the  UNTAC   civic  administration   and
information/education components  was critical in this  context.  To  ensure
fair  access to  the media during  the campaign, Radio  UNTAC offered weekly
segments  to each political  party for  the broadcast  of political material
and allowed  a  "right  of  response"  whenever  a political  party  or  its
candidate or official believed it had been  unfairly attacked or its  public
statements  misrepresented.   Furthermore,  UNTAC civilian  police monitored
political meetings  and rallies during the  six-week period  of the official
electoral  campaign,  and  they  provided  protection  for  political  party

offices considered to be most at risk.

51.  UNTAC also undertook the  procurement of all election-related equipment
and materials and selected  over 50,000 Cambodians to be trained as  polling
officers  for the 1,400  polling stations.   Some  900 international polling
station  officers   were  recruited   from  44  countries  and   the  Inter-
Parliamentary Union (IPU) to join existing  UNTAC staff at polling  stations
throughout the  country.  Each station  had one  Cambodian Presiding Officer
in charge and one international polling station officer to provide support.

52.   Despite continuing  sporadic acts  of violence  and uncertainties over
the  intentions  of  the  Party   of  Democratic  Kampuchea  throughout  the
campaign, the  elections were generally peaceful  and nearly 90  per cent of
the registered voters turned out to vote.  Following completion of the  vote
count, my Special Representative declared on 10 June 1993 that the  election
as a whole had been free and fair.

53.  The electoral assistance component of UNTAC  began with the first needs
assessment  mission in November  1991 and  continued until  the departure of
the last electoral officer at  the end of July 1993.   The pre-election  and
election activities  included civic education  and training; elaboration  of
an appropriate legal framework; drafting of the  electoral law; registration
of voters, parties and candidates; polling; vote count and verification. 

54.    The only other example so  far of this type  of mission is the United
Nations Mission  for the  Referendum in  Western Sahara  (MINURSO) which  is
responsible for  the organization  and conduct  of a  referendum in  Western
Sahara.


B.  Supervision

55.  A  second and equally  rare form  of electoral  assistance is  election
supervision.   Election  supervision  has  been undertaken  largely  in  the
context of  decolonization, as such an  approach is not  appropriate for use
in sovereign  States.   In this  context, a  Special  Representative of  the
Secretary-General  must certify not  only the  results of  the elections but
all  steps  of   the  process,   including  both  political  and   electoral
components.  These components must be clearly identified  at the outset.  As
in  the  case  of   organization  and  conduct   missions,  United   Nations
supervision  of an election  must be authorized  by the  Security Council or
the General  Assembly, is  relatively costly  and requires significant  lead
time. 

56.  The  most recent  example of  such assistance is  provided by the  1989
elections in Namibia.   In this case  the elections were administered by  an
Administrator-General  appointed  by  South  Africa,   and  supervision  was
provided  by the  Special  Representative  of  the Secretary-General.    The
Special Representative was responsible for satisfying himself  at each stage
in  the  process  of  the  fairness  and  appropriateness  of  all  measures
affecting the political process at all  levels of administration before such
measures  took effect, and  was authorized  to make  proposals regarding any
aspect of  each stage.   The official  electoral campaign  could begin  only
after the  Special Representative had approved  the electoral procedures  to
be  followed.  The  implementation of  the electoral  process, including the
registration of  voters and  the tabulation  and publication  of the  voting
results, were  also required to  be conducted to  his satisfaction.   He was
further  responsible for ensuring that no intimidation  or interference with
the electoral process took place.

57.   The  United  Nations Transition  Assistance Group  (UNTAG) was  a very
largescale operation due  to its mandate not only  to certify each stage  of
the electoral process  but also  to ensure  the creation  of conditions  for
free and fair elections  in Namibia.  The mission was ultimately composed of
almost 8,000 persons,  including just under  2,000 civilians, 1,500 civilian
police monitors  (CIVPOL) and approximately  4,500 military  personnel.  For

the  registration of  voters, 283 internationally recruited  staff worked in
the field as counterparts to all  senior registration officials appointed by
the Administrator-General in  the 23  electoral districts,  on a  one-to-one
ratio.  Approximately 700,000 voters were  registered without incident.   On
election  day,  1,783  UNTAG  electoral  personnel  supervised  some   2,500
counterparts appointed  by the  AdministratorGeneral in  the conduct of  the
poll at  fixed and  mobile polling  stations.   The ratio of  United Nations
supervisors to administrators was 4:5.

58.    The  visible and  long-term  presence  of  UNTAG  over  seven  months
contributed greatly  to the creation of  a stable and orderly atmosphere for
the conduct of elections.  The elections were certified  as free and fair by
the Special  Representative, thus  paving the  way  for the  convening of  a
Constituent Assembly and early independence for Namibia.  

59.  Clearly, this  type of electoral assistance is very costly and invasive
of national sovereignty.   As  there are relatively  few remaining cases  of
decolonization, this  type of  assistance is  unlikely to  be undertaken  in
future.


C.  Verification

60.   A more  common type  of electoral  assistance is  the verification  of
elections.    This  type of  assistance  has  been  provided  in  Angola, El
Salvador, Eritrea, Haiti, Mozambique, Nicaragua and  South Africa.  In  many
cases, such  missions are one component  of a  larger peace-keeping mission.
Although  this  form  of  assistance  also  requires  authorization  by  the
Security  Council or  the General  Assembly,  it is  less intrusive  for the
requesting  country,   as  the  Government   remains  responsible  for   the
organization  and  conduct  of  the  elections.     The  United  Nations  is
responsible only for certifying the legitimacy of the various phases of  the
electoral  process.   International observers  are deployed  throughout  the
country for  the electoral period.   Their reports  are usually supplemented
by a "quick count" before the issuance  of a final statement on  the conduct
of  the electoral  process.   The quick  count  is  a statistical  method to
project the final results  of an election, from the results of a few polling
stations chosen at random.

61.  In Mozambique, the holding  of elections was only one  component of the
general  peace agreement  signed in  Rome on  4 October  1992.   ONUMOZ  was
established  by the  Security Council  on 16  December 1992  with  a mandate
covering four basic types of activity:   political, military, electoral  and
humanitarian.   Progress was necessary on  a variety  of political, military
and humanitarian concerns (such as verifying and monitoring the  cease-fire,
demobilization  of  troops, demining  operations, repatriation  of refugees)
before election preparations could be seriously considered.

62.   The scheduling and  organization of elections in this context requires
considerable  flexibility  and  coordination  to  ensure  that  the  various
components of  the mission  are assembled  and completed  on time.   If  the
demobilization of  troops were  to  take longer  than anticipated,  election
scheduling might require adjustment.  At the same time,  elections cannot be
delayed repeatedly, or the financing and  credibility of the operation would
be jeopardized.

63.    The  electoral  process  in   Mozambique  formally  began  with   the
designation  of the 21 members of the National  Elections Commission and the
adoption  of the  Electoral Law  by the  Mozambican National  Assembly on  9
December  1993.   The  United  Nations,  and  UNDP  in particular,  provided
technical assistance  to the  Commission and  its Technical  Secretariat for
Elections  Administration in carrying  out the  provisions of  the Electoral
Law.  In  this context, the United  Nations assisted with  the establishment
and   functioning  of   the  Electoral   Tribunal,  which   included   three
international judges designated by the United  Nations, and assisted in  the
training of 1,600 voter registration teams,  civic education agents and some

60,000 election day poll workers.

64.    The  formal observation  of  the  electoral  process  began  with the
deployment by June 1994 of 126 long-term observers to the various  provinces
and  districts,  including  Maputo.   Ninety-six  of  these  observers  were
provided  from the  ranks of  the United  Nations Volunteers (UNVs).   Their
task included the monitoring of  voter registration (which began on 1 June),
civic education  campaigns,  the  press  and  the  activities  of  political
parties  and  their  leaders  before  and  during  the  electoral  campaign.
Complaints from political parties  and individuals concerning irregularities
were received  and transmitted  to the  National Elections  Commission.   In
some cases, complaints were investigated by the international observers.

65.  The  number of observers gradually increased  until the final phase  of
the  election,  at  which  time  some  2,300  international  observers  were
deployed throughout  the country.  The  observers included  nationals of 113
Member States as well as representatives  of intergovernmental and NGOs such
as  the European  Union, the  Organization of  African Unity  (OAU), and the
Association  of West  European Parliamentarians  against  Apartheid (AWEPA).
The  Chairman of  the National  Elections Commission  formally announced the
election  results on  19 November  1994.    Shortly thereafter,  the Special
Representative of the Secretary-General declared the elections  to have been
free and fair, based on the reports from the international observers.

66.   In the  general context  of United  Nations electoral  assistance, the
three types of major  missions described above are exceptions to the  normal
practice  which will rarely be  justified or appropriate.  It is, therefore,
important to clarify  that most electoral assistance is provided in far more
modest conditions  - using  one  or  two consultants  for several  weeks  or
months, utilizing various  forms of cost-sharing arrangements and  requiring
no mission-specific mandates from the Security Council or General Assembly.
 
D.  Coordination and support for international observers

67.   Among the  standard types  of electoral  assistance activities  is the
coordination  and support  mission.   This approach  was first  experimented
with in Ethiopia in  1992, and later fully  developed in Lesotho, Malawi and
the  Niger. For  this type of  assistance, the United  Nations establishes a
small  secretariat in  the requesting  country  in  order to  coordinate and
provide  logistical support for international  elections observers sponsored
by Member  States, intergovernmental and NGOs.   Optimally, such  assistance
begins just  prior  to registration  and continues  throughout the  campaign
period,  concluding with  the announcement  of  the  election results.   The
international observer  group may issue a  statement on the election but the
United Nations does not express a formal view. 

68.  There are  two major advantages to  this type of assistance:   (a)  the
United Nations  retains a low political  profile while  providing support to
an  important political process, and  (b) the approach is least intrusive of
national sovereignty while  at the  same time providing  the benefits of  an
international observer presence.

69.  In  1993, for example,  as Malawi  prepared for a June  referendum, the
United Nations established  a small electoral assistance secretariat at  the
end of  March.  International observers  began to  arrive shortly thereafter
in order  to observe the registration  process and the  later campaign.   In
April, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, an  international
NGO  based in the  United States,  provided experts  in civic  education and
poll-worker training  who joined  the secretariat  and began  work with  the
Referendum Commission  in order  to elaborate  an effective civic  education
programme, determine  the most appropriate  election procedures and  develop
training manuals  and guidelines to  be used  in poll-worker training.   The
Joint International  Observer Group, composed  of observers from  individual
countries  and NGOs,  issued  a statement  at the  end  of  the registration
period, highlighting its  validity but noting problems for future reference.

70.   As the  day scheduled  for the  referendum approached, the  Government
changed the  voting procedure from its  traditional use of  two ballot boxes
to the use of  one.  As  a consequence, a variety of new  election materials
(such  as ballot envelopes,  staining ink,  and lanterns)  were required and
the  Electoral Assistance  Secretariat  was  requested to  assist  in  their
procurement.  This  task was added  to its ongoing responsibilities  for the
provision of  electoral  expertise  to  the Referendum  Commission  and  the
coordination and deployment of international observers. 

71.  On the referendum  day, all election materials were in place, the  poll
workers had been trained and some  200 international observers were deployed
throughout  the  country  to  observe  the  voting.    A  statement  on  the
referendum was  issued by  the Joint  International Observer  Group after  a
final  debriefing following completion of the vote count.   By mid-June, all
observers and  experts had  left the  country and  the electoral  assistance
secretariat  was closed.   A similar  approach, on a  slightly larger scale,
was  used   the  following  year  on   the  occasion   of  Presidential  and
Parliamentary elections.
  72.    The Malawi  example  illustrates  the  combining  of  two types  of
electoral assistance:   (a) technical  assistance, and (b) coordination  and
support for international observers.   The practice of long-term observation
covering   the  entire  electoral  process  was  found   very  helpful,  and
preferable to  the common  practice of election-day-only  observation.   The
coordination and support  approach is also relatively cost-effective,  since
the  Member States and  organizations providing  observers cover their basic
costs  and contribute proportionately  to the  general operational  costs of
the electoral assistance secretariat.


E.  Support for national election observers

73.   Support  for national  election observers  was provided  in Mexico  in
1994.  This  approach  emphasizes  the  importance  of  long-term   national
capacity-building and  the strengthening of  existing national institutions.
In  this case,  support  was  provided  for  the  creation of  an  effective
national  observer  network,  based  on  the  participation  of  appropriate
national  organizations.  Technical  and material assistance was supplied in
order  to strengthen  those  organizations' capabilities  in  observing  and
assessing  the  electoral  process.    This  approach  is  best  utilized in
countries  that are  relatively  well developed  and  pluralistic,  and that
possess a  viable  community of  NGOs  willing  to participate  in  national
election observation.


F.  Technical assistance

74.    Technical  assistance  is  the  most  frequently  requested  form  of
electoral assistance  available and  may form  part of  the options  already
described.    Often it  is the  only  component of  an electoral  assistance
mission.    The   Electoral  Assistance  Division  has  provided   technical
assistance in  such fields  as electoral systems, election  organization and
budget,   boundary  definition,   civic   and   voter  education,   computer
applications, logistics, procurement  of election materials and training  of
election administrators.

75.  The June  1994 elections in Guinea-Bissau provided a useful example  of
the long-term  technical support which the  United Nations has  been able to
provide. In December 1992, the Government of  Guinea-Bissau requested United
Nations  assistance  in preparing  for  their  first  multiparty  elections,
tentatively  scheduled  for  1993.   In  response  to the  request  a  needs
assessment  mission visited Guinea-Bissau  in December  1992.   Based on the
mission's  report, the United  Nations recruited  a chief  technical adviser
and two experts in civic education and training in spring 1993.

76.  The chief technical adviser,  initially responsible for assisting  with
the preparation of a comprehensive elections  budget, provided advice to the

electoral  authorities on a  wide range  of issues including  aspects of the
electoral  law,   the  composition   and  remuneration   of  the   electoral
commission, procedures  and logistics of  voter registration and  procedures
for the conduct of  the polls, including ballot design, organization of  the
poll,  vote count  and computation  of final results.   The  chief technical
adviser  remained in  GuineaBissau for  four  months.   The  civic education
consultant worked with the electoral  commission for two months  in order to
assist in  the design  and implementation  of an  effective civic  education
programme throughout the country. The training  expert also spent two months
in  Guinea-Bissau,  working closely  with the  electoral  commission on  the
planning,  organization  and supervision  of  training  activities  for  all
registration  and  polling officers.    Included  in  these  tasks were  the
preparation of training manuals, the design  of training courses and  actual
instruction.   Although the elections were postponed in  the course of 1993,
the technical assistance project was completed by the end of the  year.  For
the elections which took  place in July and  August 1994, the United Nations
coordinated a group of 107 international observers.


G.  Observation

77.   Finally, another approach to  electoral assistance  is simple election
observation, using one  or two United Nations representatives as  requested.
This  approach  is rarely  used,  because  its  cost, albeit  small,  is not
justified  by the results.   The  primary difficulty  with this  approach is
that a single observer  cannot have any meaningful impact on the conduct  of
an  election and  the observer presence,  as a result,  is largely symbolic.
Although the  observer will provide the  Secretary-General with  a report on
the election and its conduct,  the election results are always known through
the  media  prior to  the  receipt of  the  report.   This  approach  can be
justified only in special circumstances. 


IV.  BUILDING INSTITUTIONS FOR DEMOCRACY

78.   For  democratization  to  take  root,  free  and  fair  elections  are
necessary but not sufficient.  Their outcome must be accepted and  respected
by all  parties, and  supported by  a strong  institutional framework  which
must be shaped, sustained and strengthened on a continuing basis.

79.   Institution-building, therefore, refers to  the efforts  of the United
Nations  system  to assist  with  the  establishment  of  the necessary  new
institutions  or to  change existing  ones to  make them  more efficient  in
supporting  the   democratization  process.     Such   efforts  entail   the
enhancement  of   national  skills  and  knowledge   in  order  to   improve
performance.   Institutionbuilding may  involve changing the structure of an
institution, its  culture, the  way it is  managed and, in  some cases,  its
whole strategic orientation in  a more democratic direction.  Such a  change
refers, for  instance, to the way  the institution  perceives itself, making
it more participatory, more concerned about the effectiveness, openness  and
timeliness of its services and the integrity and quality of its staff.

80.   Institution-building  can have  a vital  contribution to  make  in the
creation of an orderly democratization process.   Although many entities  of
the United  Nations system working  in the development field  are engaged in
programmes  involving institution-building,  they  do not  always  put  such
assistance within the context of  democratization, preferring to  refer only
to  their intergovernmental  mandates to  promote developmental  objectives.
Others,  working  in fields  such  as  human  rights  and labour  relations,
provide  assistance that has a positive impact, although an indirect one, on
the  advancement of democratization.   This  chapter gives numerous examples
of how  all these activities -  whether they are  designed to promote  "good
governance", "capacitybuilding" or the reform of public administration,  and
whether their ultimate  purpose is to enhance accountability,  transparency,
free  flow of information,  full participation or the rule  of law - have an
extremely  important part  to play  in  consolidating  and promoting  new or

restored democracies.

81.   This chapter also  gives illustrative examples  of the  assistance the
United Nations  system is currently providing,  or planning  to provide, for
institutionbuilding.  It  also draws some lessons.   This is by no means  an
exhaustive list.  Rather, it  shows representative  types of United  Nations
assistance  that  are  available  for  Governments  in  consolidating  their
democratization   process  through   the   creation  and   strengthening  of
institutions.


A.  Creating and strengthening democratic structures of government

82.    The  democratization process  inevitably  raises,  for  those  States
engaged  in it,  issues  involving governmental  structures  and  functions.
They include the respective roles of  the executive branch, the  legislature
and the judiciary,  as well as the  relationship between the state, regional
and local levels of government.

83.  UNDP  has long assisted  Member States in  implementing transitions  in
governmental  structures  in  response  to   a  new  political  or  economic
situation. In the Lao People's Democratic  Republic, UNDP, together with the
World Bank and the  representatives of the state  organs responsible for the
reform, reviewed  key policy matters  relating to the Government's strategy:
constitutional  separation   of  powers,  redefinition   of  the  roles   of
provincial  and  district bodies,  an  organizational  review  of the  state
apparatus in terms  of its overall  size and  the mandates  of each  agency,
creation  of  a  national  institution of  public  administration,  and  the
restructuring of  several ministries.  UNDP  has been  involved elsewhere in
similar reforms in which the focus has mainly  been on the reorganization of
governmental structures for better economic and social policy management.

84.   Experience has shown that, in a democratization process, measures need
to  be taken  to  increase  the accountability  of the  executive  branch to
elected bodies, and to ensure that  its actions are transparent  and subject
to effective scrutiny.  Section C below discusses these issues further.

85.   Parliament  is a  key institution of  the organization  and democratic
functioning  of the State.   By  facilitating contacts  between citizens and
governing   authorities    at    all    levels,    democratically    elected
parliamentarians  can play  a very  important  role in  the  democratization
process.  IPU is  a particularly relevant partner  of the United  Nations in
this  regard.  Since  its inception,  in 1889,  IPU has  been active  in the
field  of democratization,  promoting  the establishment  of  representative
institutions,  free  and  fair elections,  the  participation  of  women  in
political life,  the representation of minorities  and the  defence of human
rights.

 86.   Decentralization  is sometimes  an answer chosen  by a  Government to
bring more  effectiveness to  governmental functions and/or  to establish  a
more  participatory   form  of  administration.     At  times,  totally  new
governmental structures  have to  be established  as well.   National  human
rights institutions are examples of these new structures.

87.     UNDP   experience  in   a  decentralization  project   in  Venezuela
demonstrated  another  important   aspect  of  any  successful  process   of
transition.  While decentralization often appears  to be a technical  way of
achieving  efficiency through a better allocation of  economic resources, by
bringing  services closer  to the  communities, it  is in  reality mainly  a
political   process  aimed,  particularly,  at  fostering  contacts  between
citizens and the  government.  It  was realized in Venezuela  that political
decentralization had  to precede  fiscal decentralization  since the  centre
does  not  give  up financial  power  voluntarily.  Changing  the  political
structure first was a better way of achieving true  decentralization, and so
a  powerful lower-level  constituency was  created, which  pressured for it.
Experience  in Venezuela  also shows  that decentralization  can  strengthen

national integration since it promotes a  perception that the State  belongs
to the people, and is responsive to their demands and interests.

88.  Experience  gained in Africa highlights  a totally different aspect  of
decentralization:  reforms instituted at local  levels should not bypass the
traditional  structures  of  authority  in  society.    Tribal  chiefs  with
traditional  roles  of  authority  have,  in  the  eyes  of many  people,  a
legitimate power  given to them by  the people and  their forefathers.   The
process of  democratic development and modernization  needs to  find ways to
accommodate this power so that democratization does not lead to a  breakdown
of  the  established  order  and  to  the  elimination  of  the  traditional
mechanisms for resolving conflicts and  managing common property.   Instead,
ways should be  found to mobilize  the traditional  power structure for  the
long-term development of participatory democracy.

89.  A  good example  of the above is  UNDP support for decentralization  in
Cote d'Ivoire,  which is part of  its large public  sector programme and  is
participatory in character.  The decentralization project, carried out  with
the Ministry of Interior, aims to build  local and regional institutions, to
support the "communalization"  programme, to support an effective and actual
transfer  of responsibilities  and  prerogatives from  central  to  regional
level and to promote a participatory approach with the communities.

90.   The Centre  for Human  Rights of  the Secretariat  has been  assisting
Governments  to establish national  institutions for  the promotion of human
rights and  providing similar  assistance within  its overall  mandate.   In
1994,  for instance, the  Centre for Human Rights  helped the Governments of
Estonia,  Latvia,  and  Lithuania  to establish  their  first  human  rights
commissions.   UNDP has  considerable capacity in  this area as  well.   For
instance,  it  has provided  assistance  to  the  creation  of ombudsmen  in
Governments.

91.   In Paraguay, following the  overthrow of the administration of General
Stroessner,  the  new constitutional  authorities  requested  a  variety  of
technical  assistance from  the United  Nations,  the  area of  human rights
being  one of the  first.  In  April 1990, the  Centre for  Human Rights and
UNDP  concluded a  first technical  cooperation  agreement  in the  field of
human  rights  with  the  Government,  leading,  in  December  1990,  to the
establishment of the DirectorateGeneral for Human  Rights as a department of
the  Ministry of  Justice  and  Labour.  Its main  functions  include:   (a)
processing the  dissemination  of human  rights  as  an effective  means  of
guaranteeing their observance  and consolidating the democratic system,  (b)
cooperating with  relevant institutions  to  promote the  teaching of  human
rights  at the primary,  secondary and  university levels  and in non-formal
education  and (c)  promoting the  alignment  of domestic  legislation  with
international agreements and treaties on human rights. 

92.   Institution-building is also  needed in  emergencies and post-conflict
or  post-chaos   situations  to  secure   the  foundations   for  a   future
democratization  process.   It is  at this  stage that  the first  seeds  of
future social justice and respect for  human rights and fundamental freedoms
are  sown.   Depending  on the  characteristics  of  a given  situation, the
relevant  components  of  the  United  Nations   system  will,  in  concert,
facilitate a smooth  transition from a humanitarian and/or political  crisis
to  democratization  and development.   The  rights  of refugees,  displaced
persons and  migrants have  to  be taken  care of  in large-scale  emergency
situations as well.  The Office of the  United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) is  providing technical assistance in  institution-building
related to the rights and well-being of these population groups in a  period
of  transition such as in  the countries of the Commonwealth for Independent
States (CIS). 

93.  Independent  trade unions are  also among  the defining  features of  a
mature democracy.   The mechanisms for consultation, collective  bargaining,
workers'  participation,  personnel policy  and  the  settlement  of  labour
disputes -  which are  the heart  of the  work of  the International  Labour

Organization  (ILO) -  play  an  essential role  in the  transition  to more
democratic institutions  and the new culture  of work, as  well as a  market
economy.   For instance, ILO  has been recently  involved in  establishing a
tripartite forum  for discussion in El  Salvador, enshrined  in the National
Work  Council.    The  project  helps  construct  the  framework  needed  to
encourage productive  social dialogue on  business and labour issues, social
safety nets,  and  labour legislation.    ILO  has been  similarly  pursuing
efforts to strengthen and consolidate the  move towards democracy and  peace
in  Guatemala,   through  mechanisms  that   encourage  tripartite   dispute
settlement and the establishment of a sound labour relations system.


B.  Enhancing the rule of law

94.  For democratization to become a reality, the rule of  law must prevail.
Policies  and regulations should  be developed  and implemented according to
an institutionalized  process with  opportunities for  review.   The use  of
discretion must  not result in arbitrary  and capricious  exercise of power.
In  short, a set of rules must  be known in advance, rules  must be enforced
and should  provide room for conflict  resolution, and  known procedures for
amending the rules must exist. 

95.   Technical  assistance  to  achieve these  goals has  been  provided by
several  components of  the United  Nations  system.   Such  assistance also
contributes, directly or indirectly, to the process of democratization.

 96.    In some  countries the  weakness  of legal  institutions calls  into
question the very existence  of a law-based State.  In such cases, political
pluralism,  which  involves providing  the  necessary  political  space  for
organizations  of civil  society, non-governmental  organizations and  self-
governing local governments, cannot function properly until the  appropriate
legal institutions are established. 

97.   One approach  is to  provide broad support through  projects for legal
institutions,  including,  for  example,  legal  training,  legal  education
through strengthening  law schools, judicial  infrastructure, such as  court
buildings,  law libraries,  etc., and  the publication and  dissemination of
legal information. Such projects were initiated,  for instance, by the World
Bank in the United Republic of Tanzania in 1992, and in Zambia in 1993.

98.    The  provision  of  security,  through  adequate  crime  control  and
effective  justice  is   assuming  an  increasingly  important  role,   both
nationally  and   internationally  as  its   neglect  usually  has   serious
consequences for  development efforts and  democratic institutions.   United
Nations  crime  prevention   and  criminal  justice  programmes  are   being
developed  to  provide  States  with  technical  assistance,  such  as  data
collection,  information  and  experience  sharing,  as  well  as   advisory
services  in   criminal   justice,  including   new  modern   communications
techniques and  training.   They assist  States in  identifying their  crime
prevention  and criminal  justice  needs  and in  addressing  them,  through
technical cooperation in the area of  law reform, including the  elaboration
of criminal codes and other legislative  or procedural improvements, as well
as more  effective  crime prevention  and  criminal  justice planning.    In
addition to  addressing these  issues at  a national  level, the  programmes
also  assist States  in fighting  transnational crime,  including  organized
criminal  activity,  economic  and  environmental  criminality  and   money-
laundering.   These activities are carried  out by the  Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice Branch of  the Secretariat, the  Interregional Adviser  for
Crime Prevention  and Criminal  Justice based  at Vienna,  and the  Regional
Adviser for  Crime  Prevention and  Criminal  Justice  of the  Economic  and
Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

99.   In  elaborating its  projects,  the  United Nations  collaborates with
academic  institutions  and  other  relevant national  entities.    It  also
ensures that  matters related to crime  prevention and  criminal justice are
incorporated into the planning and  implementation of United  Nations peace-

keeping and peace-building operations. 

100.   In Eastern Europe and  Central Asia  substantial technical assistance
has been extended to  countries moving from  a command to a market  economy.
In Belarus,  Latvia, Lithuania,  Romania, Russia,  Ukraine, and  Uzbekistan,
for example,  the World Bank  is assisting with legislative, administrative,
and  judicial reforms  so that  the institutional  framework is  in place to
enact,  administer, and enforce  laws.   Law reform  units within government
structures have  been established with the  Bank's help.   Anti-monopoly and
financial  supervision  agencies  are  being set  up  or  strengthened,  and
training  programmes  for  judges,  lawyers and  court  officials  have been
launched.

101.  In  East Asia, similar  efforts are  being made to introduce  new laws
and to create an institutional framework for the economies in transition  in
that region.   In the Middle East and North  Africa the work has focused  on
improving  the effectiveness of  legal and  regulatory frameworks.   In sub-
Saharan  Africa the  Bank is  helping to  strengthen legal  institutions.  A
start  is   being  made   with  projects   on  legal   training  and   court
infrastructure in the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia, as well as  in
Burkina  Faso  and Mozambique.    A  particular feature  of  the  former  is
targeted training for legal draftsmen.

102.   In a functioning democracy,  labour relations must  also be subjected
to  the rule of  law.  Since 1992,  52 Member States have  asked the ILO for
assistance  on  the revision  or  drafting  of  labour  legislation.   These
include several  of the  countries which participated  in the  International
Conferences  of  New or  Restored  Democracies,  such as  Albania,  Belarus,
Bulgaria, Cambodia, Kazakstan,  Uzbekistan, Romania, the Russian Federation,
Ukraine,  and  Viet  Nam.    This   assistance  has  ranged  from   informal
consultation with specialists on labour legislation  to the preparation of a
draft labour  code based on  ILO principles for  legislative adoption.   For
example, the  Government of Romania  requested comments on draft legislation
on collective  bargaining, employer's organizations  and dispute settlement,
Bulgaria requested  and incorporated  ILO comments  on a  draft labour  code
which  was  adopted  in 1993,  and  Cambodia  asked  for  assistance  with a
revision of the labour code, which was then adopted in 1994.

103.   From  the growing  experience with  legal reform across  regions, the
following  lessons are  emerging:   (a)  legal  reform cannot  be successful
without  the full  conviction and  political  commitment of  the  Government
concerned, (b) there is a need to avoid wholesale  transfer of Western-based
legislation without  due regard  for the legal  traditions of  a country,  a
particular risk in transition countries; more  generally, in all  countries,
the effectiveness of legal  reforms depends greatly on  how the reforms take
into account the social, religious, customary,  and historical factors in  a
society, (c)  of crucial importance is  the institutional  framework so that
new laws  can be applied firmly but  fairly and the  right balance is struck
between  licence and  regulatory control in  a market economy;  in this way,
legal  framework  reform  involves  broader  issues  of  public  policy  and
institutional  development,  (d)  excessive  use  of  administrative  orders
issued  under  delegated  powers  can  result  in  a  conflicting  and  non-
transparent legal framework.


               C.  Improving accountability, transparency and quality
                   in public sector management

104.   The accountability  of public officials  is a defining  feature of  a
democratic form  of governance.   Institutions and techniques vary according
to regime,  culture,  history and  the  particular  political context  of  a
country.  Periodic  elections   allow  the  electorate  to  hold   officials
accountable, but other institutions have an important  role to play.  Public
opinion  can also  exercise influence  over  official  behaviour.   NGOs and
media, in particular, are active in  demanding more transparency and  better
quality - as well as clear accountability -  of public administration at all

levels.

105.   In  a democratic  society,  openness  and transparency  require  that
information is  available from  both private  and public  sources, and  that
there is  tolerance  for public  debate.    Increasing the  availability  of
political,  economic and  financial  data requires  publishing  capacity,  a
legal enabling environment concerning access, and distribution networks  for
information,  such  as  non-governmental  organizations,  universities   and
research groups, media, trade unions and professional associations.

106.  The  World Bank has played an  important role in providing  assistance
to  countries  wishing  to  improve   the  accountability  and   quality  of
management in their public  sectors.  The Bank is, for example, carrying out
a  public sector  management  project in  Chile.    The  ability of  Chile's
Congress to evaluate new  legislation is tied to the quality of  information
and analysis it  receives.  The  project aims to improve the  ability of the
legislative branch  to  review and  formulate  policy  by strengthening  the
Library  of  Congress.    This  will  involve  computerizing  communications
systems,   strengthening  reference   holdings,   and   conducting  training
programmes.  In  addition, communications links  between the legislative and
executive branches  of government will be  strengthened.   All these efforts
will  contribute  towards increasing  the  efficiency  of  the  Government's
policy-making.

107.  The judicial  system in many developing  countries is extremely  weak,
with  the  administration of  justice  often  hampered  by  long delays  and
inconsistent rulings.   The causes include  an inefficient court  management
system,  inadequate  remuneration   for  judicial  system  staff  and   weak
information systems.   Often, personnel  policies lack transparency and  are
politically motivated.  In order to help to  correct some of these problems,
the  World Bank is  cooperating with  countries asking  for such assistance.
For  instance,  in Venezuela,  it  has  a project  aimed  at  improving  the
efficiency of  the judiciary.  To  achieve this,  the institutional capacity
of the Judicial Council, the principal  administrative organ of the judicial
system, will  be  strengthened.    Measures  such  as  automating  courtroom
procedures, improving  training in  the Judicial  School, and  strengthening
the planning,  budgeting, and  management capacity  of the  Council will  be
supported.

108.   The problems  posed  by  lack of  transparency in  national  economic
management were first highlighted by the World Bank in 1989.  Weak  economic
and  accounting  data  systems, poor  tender procedures,  secrecy  of budget
documents and deficient mass media were  identified as the main  explanatory
factors.  The  importance of promoting  transparency through  an independent
and  free press  was  particularly  stressed.   Strengthening  economic  and
accounting  data  systems have  been  components  in several  public  sector
management  reform  programmes supported  by  the  International Development
Agency since  1991.  Examples include  Angola, Burkina  Faso, Mauritania and
Sierra Leone.

109.   Because  corrupt  activities  on  the part  of  public officials  can
destroy  the  potential  effectiveness  of  governmental  programmes, hinder
development and  victimize  individuals and  groups,  it  is important  that
adequate  criminal laws,  including procedural  legislation, be  adopted  to
allow   a  recourse  to   sanctions  and  ensure  an  effective  deterrence.
Procedures should exist  for the detection,  investigation and conviction of
corrupt officials, as well as  administrative and regulatory  mechanisms for
the  prevention of  corrupt  practices  or the  abuse of  power.   The Crime
Prevention  and Criminal  Justice Branch  provides technical  assistance  in
this  regard.   It  has elaborated,  in particular,  a "Manual  on practical
measures against corruption" and a draft  International Code of Conduct  for
Public Officials.

110.   The  linkage between  opaque  procurement  systems and  corruption is
stressed in the World Bank's programmes.  Significantly, it is in  countries
where newly  elected Governments would like to correct the mistakes of their

predecessors  that  the  greatest  interest  is  shown  in  the  design  and
installation of new  procurement systems.   Examples include Benin,  Burkina
Faso and  Zambia.    Another  form  of  the  Bank's  support  for  increased
transparency and openness is the assistance  provided for the publication of
government gazettes.   In  Mauritania, for example,  official gazettes  that
used  to be  published  abroad one  or  two  years  late are  now  published
locally, on time every two weeks.

111.    UNDP  has  also  addressed  the  problem  of  deficient  procurement
practices.  Through its  support to  the Bolivian Government's  endeavour to
accelerate  the  investment  process,  thus  making  more  transparent   the
disbursement of  international financial loans  and grants,  it launched the
Technical Support  to Procurement Project in  Bolivia in 1988.   The project
has  brought important financial savings.  It has  received 716 requests for
services and finalized  1,009 biddings for a  total value of investments  of
$2,119  million.   Ninety-three  governmental  institutions  were  assisted.
Annual capital investments  increased from $215 million in 1987 to more than
$600 million in 1993.  The time required  for procurement and contracting of
goods and services has  been reduced.   The participation of the project  in
public procurement  has generated savings in  excess of 25  per cent of  the
amounts originally  budgeted by the  entities, with  total estimated savings
of nearly $500 million.

112.  In order for the  democratization process to become firmly established
in new or restored  democracies, appropriate fiscal  and monetary management
is essential.   Macroeconomic  stability is  the  underpinning of  sustained
economic growth  and development.   Fiscal  transparency and  accountability
are  particularly important in  a democratization process.  Without national
and  global  confidence   in  the   essential  elements  required  for   the
development of a robust economy, democratization will be threatened.

113.    The global  revolution  in  favour  of  democratization and  market-
oriented economies,  as well  as the expanding implementation  of structural
adjustment policies, has increased  the demand for  technical cooperation to
support countries in  formulating and implementing sound financial  economic
policies.  Policy  and  operational  assistance  is  often  critically   and
urgently  needed  as  key  decisions  are  made;  longer-term  capacity  and
institutional development must be supported through in-country seminars  and
workshops, as well as overseas training  through both exposure to successful
counterpart operations in other countries and advanced education.

114.   In CIS countries  and Eastern  Europe, focused  programmes have  been
developed  by  IMF  with  other  donors   to  adapt  command  economies   to
democratic,  marketoriented  environments.   Significant  legal  and  policy
changes have  been needed,  as  well as  the  retraining  of staff  and  the
construction  of operational  systems. Similarly, IMF has  supported work in
Cambodia, the  Lao  People's Democratic  Republic,  and  Viet Nam  as  these
countries work  to establish evolving  economies. In  Africa, many countries
continue to be assisted  on either an as-needed  basis, or under a programme
approach.   For example, Angola, Namibia,  the United  Republic of Tanzania,
and  Zambia  have  received  formal  technical  assistance  programmes,  and
programmes are now being  developed for Malawi,  Rwanda, and Sudan.  In  the
western hemisphere,  Haiti  is being  provided  assistance  under a  closely
coordinated effort with other donors.  This assistance can, I believe,  make
important  contribution  to  better  governance,  and  to  more  transparent
institutions, and can thus enhance the democratization process.


D.  Capacity-building and civil service reform

115.   A basic  requirement for  the consolidation  and promotion of  new or
restored  democracies is a  political leadership  of sufficient  calibre and
integrity to offer the  country a vision and  to give expression  to popular
demands.   Countries in transition need politicians, whether in  power or in
opposition,  who  are  ready  to  serve  the  whole  population  and present
themselves  as  models  as  far  as  moral  and  professional  standards are

concerned.

116.      UNDP  has   gained   considerable   experience  in   training  for
parliamentarians  and senior  civil  servants in  countries  in  transition.
Whereas,  in the  past, political leaders  in such countries  saw their role
essentially as  providing  guidance and  direction for  the people,  today's
leaders require new techniques and up-to-date  information to enable them to
interact effectively  with their  own electorates.    Recent experience  has
shown that training to assist them in developing new  skills as facilitators
and  team leaders is  particularly valuable.  Such training  can involve the
use of seminars, "think-tanks" and retreats for senior politicians.

117.   These requirements  apply also  to judges  and others serving  in the
judicial branch.  A democratization process  cannot really take root without
an independent, qualified and transparent judiciary.

118.   Many  of the countries undergoing a democratization process have  yet
to face up to the  magnitude of change needed within their public sector  in
order to  sustain efficient,  participatory societies.   How  to manage  the
transition  from an  overstaffed, underskilled  and poorly  motivated  civil
service to a smaller, realistically paid and professional  one in a way that
does  not provoke resistance  to change,  is not  yet adequately understood.
In  many  countries, bureaucratic  attitudes  are  a  serious  problem.   In
others,  the  social consequences  of  massive  layoffs  are  understandably
feared.

119.   The World Bank's recent  experience in  sub-Saharan Africa highlights
the limitations of the  past focus of the Bank that emphasized reduction and
control  of civil  service  staff and  the burden  of the  wage bill  on the
budget.   It stresses  the very small  budgetary savings  recorded in almost
every  case  and  the  fact  that  there  is  not  a  direct  and  automatic
relationship  between  reducing bureaucracy  and  increasing efficiency  and
effectiveness.

120.  Another example of civil service  reform is the UNDP project  in Egypt
which promotes a service-oriented public sector.   The three main objectives
are: (a) to reorient  civil servants and upgrade their skills, (b) to modify
laws and regulations,  rationalizing and harmonizing  the civil service, and
allowing  for  devolution  and  subcontracting,   and  (c)  to  upgrade  and
restructure selected government agencies. 


V.  OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

121.  I  have provided  examples in  this report of  how the United  Nations
system  can support the  efforts of  Governments to  promote and consolidate
new  or restored democracies.  From the experience  gained in the operations
described, a number of lessons can be drawn. 

122.  As far  as electoral assistance is concerned, it has become clear that
there  is  no  single formula  that  may  be  used  to  ensure a  successful
election. Electoral assistance  must be guided by  the wishes of  the Member
States concerned and  the practical realities  of each  electoral situation,
keeping  in mind the  overall goal  of long-term  capacity-building.  United
Nations electoral  assistance is, ultimately, aimed  at the  creation of its
own obsolescence.

123.    Experience  gained so  far  indicates  that  the  development  of an
effective institutional memory is critical to improved electoral  assistance
activities. Earlier  experience provides  a basis  for future technical  and
administrative innovation which can  result in more  effective assistance at
lower cost.   Past  cooperation with  other intergovernmental  organizations
can be  replicated  and strengthened  in  future  operations.   Experts  who
participated in  one mission  have valuable  lessons to  share with  mission
experts from other regions of the world.

124.   The role  of  international observers  has been  highlighted in  many
electoral operations and  the advantages  and disadvantages of the  observer
presence have been widely discussed.   Experience has demonstrated, however,
that  an influx  of  large  numbers of  observers  for election  day may  be
unnecessarily  costly and less  effective than  the deployment  of a smaller
number  of observers  who arrive  in the  country prior to  registration and
remain  for  the entire  electoral  process.  Long-term  observation  allows
observers to familiarize themselves with the  country and existing  practice
and allows for more sensitive and  useful observations and assessments  than
does the short-term observation which has  been the more frequent  practice.
At the same time, adequate observer coverage on election day can be  assured
by using  mobile  teams of  observers  rather  than assigning  observers  to
specific polling  stations for the entire  day(s), provided that  there is a
national NGO or party observer presence at each  polling station. In future,
greater  emphasis   will  be   placed  on  long-term  observation   and  the
strengthening  of national observer  networks rather  than on the deployment
of massive numbers of international observers around election day.

125.  I have  already noted that elections  are necessary but not sufficient
to ensure  the durability  of a democratization  process.  That  is why  the
United  Nations   has  broadened  its   action  to   include  assistance  to
constitutional    reforms,   institution-building   and   civic   education.
Activities  have focused,  in particular,  on  the creation  of  independent
systems  for  the  administration of  justice,  the  establishment of  armed
forces  respectful of the  rule of  law, the training of  police forces that
safeguard public freedoms and the setting  up of human rights  institutions.
These  programmes now undergo  changes in  response to  new global, regional
and  country   level  circumstances.     The  breadth  of   democratization,
governance  and  institution-building makes  it  difficult  for  any  United
Nations entity to support the entire spectrum of  programmes in the area.  A
well-coordinated  distribution of  labour within  the whole  United  Nations
system is called for.

126.    Some agencies  have  tended  to  concentrate  on the  administrative
aspects  of  governance,  encouraging  the  development  of  an   efficient,
independent, accountable  and open public sector.   The  future challenge to
such  agencies will  be  to  widen this  approach to  take into  account the
social  and  political  aspects   of  governance,  institution-building  and
democratization, and to coordinate their programmes  at an early stage  with
other United Nations entities working in these fields. 

127.  In meeting these challenges, I recommend  that the Secretariat and all
agencies increase their cooperation  in the area of institution-building and
governance,  in   particular  through  strengthening  capacity-building   of
democratic institutions.  The  aim should be to develop an expanding network
for policy development  and programme cooperation, involving United  Nations
agencies, bilateral donors and interested professional organizations.   This
new framework  for coordination should  involve both  the headquarters level
and the regional and field offices.

128.   In supporting  democratization efforts,  different components of  the
United Nations system should pay particular attention  to such key areas  of
involvement  as:   the  strengthening  of  leadership  skills and  political
institutions; support  for effective  judiciaries guaranteeing  the rule  of
law  and  the protection  of human  rights;  strengthening linkages  between
government and civil society through NGOs,  the media, local government  and
professional associations; and taking part in the area of decentralization.

129.  In  order to secure solid  foundations for peace, democratization  and
development, and  a smooth continuum from relief to sustainable development,
it   is  essential  to   strengthen  democratic   structures  and  forms  of
government.   In  this regard,  the Department  of Political  Affairs of the
Secretariat should be consulted at an early stage  in the preparation of the
programmes  and plans that  the financial,  economic and  social branches of
the system  are devising  for any given  Member State.   Conversely, as  the
Department  of  Political  Affairs  considers  preventive,  peacemaking  and

peace-building  activities  and  programmes,  it  should  ensure  the  early
involvement of  the international  financial institutions  and the  economic
and social programmes and departments.

130.   Enhanced coordination within the  United Nations  system continues to
be a  priority objective.  I have taken a number of steps in this direction.
For  example,  the  same  person  has   been  designated  as  UNDP  Resident
Representative  and Deputy  to my  Special  Representative  in Haiti.   This
double appointment is  intended to highlight  the need to  ensure, from  the
outset,  maximum  coordination  of  the different  elements  of  the  United
Nations system  present in a country where the Organization has been invited
to support the process of democratization.

131.   The challenge of democratization  in today's world  cannot be met  by
the  United Nations  system or  by  Governments  alone, although  the latter
remain  the  principal  actors.    A  multiplicity  of  partners,  including
regional    organizations,   NGOs,   parliamentarians,   business   leaders,
professional associations, trade unions, the academic community and  others,
and above all the ordinary citizen,  have an indispensable and complementary
role to  play.  Acting at  the national and  international levels, they  all
contribute to  democratization.   It is  important that  the United  Nations
should work actively with all these.


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Date last posted: 18 December 1999 16:30:10
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