Explanation of Vote: Strengthening the role of the United Nations in enhancing periodic and genuine elections and the promotion of democratisation
Strengthening the role of the United Nations in enhancing periodic and genuine elections and the promotion of democratisation
Joint Explanation of Vote delivered on 18 November 2021
Thank you Chair.
I have the honour to deliver this explanation of vote on behalf of seven countries: Canada, Iceland, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and my own country, Australia.
Our countries thank the United States for presenting this draft resolution and are pleased to co-sponsor it. We strongly support the resolution, which recognises the importance of fair, periodic, inclusive and genuine elections, and the role of the UN in assisting Member States to arrange them.
In particular, we welcome the resolution’s strong focus on inclusion, particularly of women, this year.
In many countries, particular groups face barriers to participation in public and political life. These barriers can include unpaid care and domestic work, sexual and gender-based violence, the impact of COVID-19, limited accessibility of polling stations, and discrimination or violence in law or in practice.
For elections to be fully representative, and therefore effective, citizens must be able to participate in them on an equal basis. To achieve this, all of our governments must work together to address factors which hold some citizens back from equal participation in public and political life.
The resolution tabled by the facilitator contained a list in OP7 which addressed all the groups that may be in vulnerable positions and that are more likely to be discriminated against and hindered from participating in public and political life – in particular, elections.
The amendments proposed today seek to change OP7, to exclude some key groups. By deleting certain groups, the amendments effectively suggest that some people can be discriminated against in electoral processes. A vote for the amendments is, therefore, a vote for discrimination.
The amendments also water down other key parts of the text. If the amendments were adopted, they would weaken the resolution overall.
For our delegations, it is of utmost importance that the original list in OP7 – containing the full range of grounds for discrimination – be maintained. Therefore, we will vote against the amendments, and we encourage all Member States to do the same.
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