The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda today signed an agreement on the privileges and immunities of the members of the Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) that will be present during the general elections that will be held in the Caribbean country in 2014, at a date yet to be determined.
The agreement, signed at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, reflects the measures to safeguard the independence of the observers in the exercise of their functions, and determines the nature of the cooperation between the members of the mission and the national authorities.
Upon signing the document, the Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the OAS, Ambassador Deborah -Mae Lovell, acknowledged the support the OAS has provided to help strengthen democratic processes in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the contribution it makes to the transparency of electoral processes in the region, particularly through its observation missions.
For his part, Secretary General Insulza recalled that the 2014 elections in Antigua and Barbuda will be the second to feature the presence of an Electoral Observation Mission of the OAS, after those held in 2009. "The EOM will be installed approximately one week prior to the elections and its work will include issues related to the observation of electoral justice, gender equity, political financing and the conditions of equality and transparency of the process," he said.
Last February, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer, extended an invitation to the OAS to send an EOM to observe the general elections, in which 17 members of the House of Representatives will be elected. The invitation was accepted by the OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza.
A gallery of photos of the event is available here.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.