The discussions were around collaborating on the Vanuatu Electoral Environment Project (VEEP).
MSG Secretariat Programme Manager for Political & Security Affairs, Ilan Kiloe, welcomed Anne-Sofie Gerhard, Chief Technical Adviser & Project Manager of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s VEEP, on behalf of the Acting Director General, George Hoa’au.
Mr Kiloe said the MSG Secretariat would be happy to support the work of UNDP in Vanuatu and provide assistance towards enhancing electoral systems in Vanuatu.
Ms Gerhard was pleased saying that the UNDP would be excited to collaborate with the MSG Secretariat given its experience in elections.
“We welcome this opportunity and the fact that we already have an existing partnership through an MOU makes it even easier for us to collaborate in this area,” she said.
Both parties agreed to consider working together to conduct basic elections training for relevant stakeholders participating in the conduct of elections in Vanuatu.
The training will initially cover issues like understanding processes, elections laws, code of conduct and the roles and responsibilities of voters, polling agents and candidates, among many others.
In addition, discussions also centred around having an online workshop among electoral officials in MSG Countries to share and exchange information and experiences. Lessons learned may well be utilised to assist programmes currently underway to strengthen the political party system in Vanuatu.
One of the key strategic priorities of the MSG Secretariat and aligned to the mandate of leaders is to support and enhance democratic processes supporting elections in member countries. The MSG Secretariat under the elections programme had conducted Observer Missions to Vanuatu twice during the 2016 Snap Elections and more recently in 2020.
Photo supplied MSG Secretariat Caption: MSG Secretariat Programme Manager for Political & Security Affairs, Ilan Kiloe (right) and Anne-Sofie Gerhard, (left) Chief Technical Adviser & Project Manager of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Vanuatu Electoral Environment Project