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United States and the OAS cooperate to organize the Seventh Inter-American Meeting of Electoral Management Bodies
April 23, 2010

Representatives from the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS), the United States Federal Election Commission, and the Election Assistance Commission met today to sign a memorandum of understanding to establish the guidelines for cooperation in the organization of the Seventh Inter-American Meeting of Electoral Management Bodies that will be held on May 6-7 in the U.S. capital.

During the ceremony, held at the OAS headquarters in Washington D.C., the OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, commented that the May meeting is going to strengthen the Organization’s activities in the area of election management, which have significantly increased in the recent years.

Expressing his enthusiasm for the signing of the agreement, with the main U.S. electoral bodies, Insulza also affirmed that “in the past years we have tried to put emphasis on the electoral observations and broaden it to other activities related to electoral processes. We are also working in providing cooperation to countries which ask for assistance to improve or strengthen the quality of the electoral systems”. Although, he also pointed out that “We still have many challenges; we have had exchanges of information on the issue of electoral finance, something that many countries have been asking for.” He also added that “electoral management, observation, and cooperation are among the main tasks of the OAS so we are very happy to hold this meeting with electoral authorities for the first time in the United States”.

Commissioner Donetta Davidson, in representation of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission said that the signing institutions share a common goal, “that is free, fair and transparent elections. Therefore, we always learn from each other and we definitely want to share the knowledge and experiences we know.”

On the other hand, Matthew S. Petersen, Chairman of the U.S. Federal Election Commission, referred to the differences in terms of electoral systems amongst the nations, and affirmed that in the May meeting “we can all look forward to having a very healthy, vigorous and enlightening exchange of ideas about our experiences from our countries.”

The Sixth Inter-American Meeting of Electoral Management Bodies was held in Ottawa, Canada on June, 2009. During that meeting, three key themes were addressed: the role of electoral management bodies between elections, voter registry and international electoral observation.

Until today, more than twenty five presidents and magistrates of the Electoral Management Bodies from the region have confirmed their attendance to the Meeting, which will be held in Washington D.C. on May 6-7, 2010.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-132/10

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