The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) signed a Letter of Agreement initiating a partnership to support Timor-Leste’s Electoral Management Bodies (EMB) in preparing a manual and plan to conduct COVID-resilient elections under the project ‘COVID-Resilient Elections in Timor-Leste’ funded by the Government of Japan.

Via the partnership the International IDEA will provide technical expertise to the EMBs in developing and validating a COVID-resilient plan and manual on how to prepare and hold elections in accordance with health and safety authorities, while ensuring electoral integrity. The International IDEA has been monitoring the impact of COVID on democracy, and collected lessons learned globally to facilitate best practice, and are well versed in electoral support. 

In light of the COVID-19 lockdown, the signing ceremony was held virtually. UNDP was represented by Munkhtuya Altangerel, the Resident Representative, while International IDEA was represented by Leena Rikkilä Tamang, the Director for Asia and the Pacific. The signing ceremony was witnessed by the UN Resident Coordinator, the President of the National Commission on Elections (CNE), Director-General of the Technical Secretariat of Electoral Administration (STAE), and H.E. the Ambassador of Japan to Timor-Leste.

“Today marks the start of a strong, fruitful, and timely partnership with International IDEA in pursuit of safeguarding representative democracy against COVID-19” - Munkhtuya Altangerel, Resident Representative, UNDP Timor-Leste

“Global pandemic has been testing the resilience of democracies worldwide. We have seen examples of elections disrupted and derailed. At the same time, crisis can be conducive to electoral innovation, and even increase operational effectiveness and participation. International IDEA, together with the UNDP, is keen to support STAE and CNE in their efforts to organise the 2022 elections safely and with integrity.” - Leena Rikkilä Tamang, Director for Asia and the Pacific

"Japan has consistently supported the democratic election process of Timor-Leste in various ways and means since 1999. Based upon our assistance in cooperation with UNDP for the last 10 years, we are now launching another project with UNDP and IDEA to reinforce the development of democracy in this country that is now facing enormous challenges caused by COVID-19 and recent natural disasters. I strongly hope this project will be another big success." - H.E. KINEFUCHI Masami, Ambassador of Japan to Timor-Leste

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For more information, or media interviews please contact:

UNDP Head of Democratic Governance Unit, Youngchan Kim, youngchan.kim@undp.org, Mobile 78454481

UNDP National Project Manager, Tito Filipe, CORE Project , tito.dacosta@undp.org, Mobile 77269279

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