The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reconfirms its strong commitment and support to the transitional process through its continued support to Yemen’s update to the Voter Registry, Constitutional Referendum and post-Referendum elections by the signing of an agreement in the amount of 27 million SEK (approximately US $4 million) with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) for the implementation of the Support to the Elections during the Transitional Period (SETP) project in Yemen. The agreements were exchanged on Monday, December 17, 2012 by the Ambassador of Sweden, Senior Country Director of UNDP, the Vice-Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Elections and Referenda (SCER), and the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation at the latter’s office.
The SETP project aims to support the planning and administration of voter registration, the constitutional referendum, and remaining elections of the transitional period; to support inclusive electoral legal framework reform and to increase participation of civil society, political parties, women, youth and persons with disabilities in electoral processes.
“Sweden is now the first contributor for the preparation of voter registration efforts and the coming referendum" said Gustavo Gonzalez, UNDP Yemen Senior Country Director, who led the UNDP delegation. Stressing on the importance of the electoral reforms for fair and impartial elections, “If the National Dialogue is at the heart of the transitional process, elections are what sustains its beat. Elections bring political legitimacy and inclusiveness. Sustainable development in Yemen is unthinkable without a strong democracy. This is why UNDP is strongly investing in elections.”
"This support will allow UNDP to setup its technical team to support the SCER in updating the new voter registry. Sweden’s contribution is very strategic and catalytic.” Gonzalez added.
Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt, Ambassador of Sweden, emphasized the importance of Yemen's success in the transition process toward a sustainable and democratic system.
UNDP will technically and financially assist the SCER in assessing, planning and fostering partnership in support of the elections, while also developing national capacities through obtaining knowledge from global experiences. Through the previously established Multi-Donor Basket Fund, UNDP will support the implementation of critical electoral operations as envisioned in the transitional period, in addition to coordinating the support of national and international partners to the electoral processes.
The estimated budget for the remaining period is US $23,363,000, of which UNDP will provide US $ 1 million, the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will provide US$500,000, and SIDA, through today's agreement was the first to contribute to the remaining period with US $4 million.
Ambassador Juhlin-Dannfelt agreed with the importance of this electoral support, “The current transition period of National Dialogue will conclude with the holding of national elections to a body representative of the Yemeni people. To be credible, elections should be administered by a national, independent and impartial body, in this case, an independent elections commission" he noted. "Thus, apart from the humanitarian support and assistance in other sectors, Sweden has decided to support the elections process in Yemen through the offices of the UNDP in Yemen", Juhlin-Dannfelt added.