Deputy Special Representative for Iraq of the United Nations Secretary-General (DSRSG) Alice Walpole addressed on Sunday the opening of a strategic planning workshop attended by members of the Board of Commissioners and staff of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC). She welcomed efforts by the IHEC to collectively and systematically discuss and define its strategic direction for the next five years.
"In defining the future strategic direction of the institution, it is important to reflect and learn from the lessons of previous experiences, and to formulate goals and objectives that are responsive to the demands of electoral stakeholders," the DSRSG said. She highlighted areas for close consideration during the workshop, including the integrity of the voter registry, the use of election technologies, the importance of public outreach and the need for inclusive participation, particularly by women, minority communities and those displaced from their areas of origin.
"The UN and other international partners are beside you in developing and implementing this strategic plan. I encourage the Commission to continue to maximize the opportunities of having such experienced partners," the DSRSG added.
In his remarks, IHEC Chairman Maan Al-Hetawi recalled that this is the third strategic plan that IHEC has prepared. He underlined IHEC's resolve to develop its capacities, to improve electoral processes and to continue efforts in building the trust of electoral stakeholders. He also expressed appreciation for the continued engagement of UNAMI, UNDP and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) which all provided support to the workshop. In a press conference after the opening of the workshop, Chairman Maan confirmed that the IHEC Board of Commissioners had proposed 16 November 2019 to the Council of Representatives as the provisional date for Provincial Council elections.
(With Inputs from UNAMI Press Release)