Timor-Leste + 1 more

Government of Norway to support democratic electoral process in Timor-Leste

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Dili, 1 December 2011 - The Government of Norway will support the consolidation of a democratic society in Timor-Leste based on legitimate institutions elected through free, transparent and fair elections in 2012. The Government of Norway has signed an agreement to provide US $650,000 to UNDP, UN Women and UNICEF.

It is expected that through this generous contribution from Norway, the United Nations Agencies will be able to implement programmes and activities focused on women’s political empowerment, enhancing youth and first-time voter participation, and promoting democratic principles through Timor-Leste’s Electoral Management Bodies in the lead-up to Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2012.

The Government of Norway’s support will make an important contribution to UNDP’s electoral assistance programme. This programme applies an electoral cycle approach that covers pre-electoral, electoral and post-electoral periods and provides support through experts, advice and mentoring to the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE) and the National Electoral Commission (CNE). This includes assistance in the development of the electoral legal framework, voter registration process, voter and civic education campaigns, electoral planning and operations, and support to political parties.

The Norwegian assistance to UN Women will strengthen active participation of women voters and women candidates. It will deliver training, capacity building and sensitization of both men and women on the issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment for women’s leadership and participation in politics and decision-making. This is of particular importance in light of the new provision in the recently revised electoral laws that calls for one in three female candidates in every party list, from the prior one in four.

With high numbers of youth expected to participate in the elections, the "Youth and first time voter initiative" supported by the Government of Norway and led by UNICEF and local partners aims at enhancing the levels of participation by first-time young voters by increasing their access to election information, using existing structures to positively mobilize youth and to advocate for non-violent dialogue mechanisms to promote peaceful elections.

For further information, please contact:
UNDP – John Fenech, +670 732 7211, john.fenech@undp.org
UN Women – Kari Gibson, +670 3313 294, kari.gibson@unwomen.org
UNICEF – Mary Ann Maglipon, +670 723 1103, mmaglipon@unicef.org