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The Hemisphere’s Electoral Authorities Meet in Ottawa

  September 25, 2023

The XVI Inter-American Meeting of Electoral Authorities (RAE, for its acronym in Spanish), which brings together the highest-level representatives of electoral bodies from across the hemisphere, was inaugurated today in Ottawa, Canada, organized by the General Secretariat of the Organization of the American States (OAS) and Elections Canada, with the support of the government of Canada.

The current edition involves the participation of 49 delegates from 31 electoral bodies of 27 OAS member states.

The opening of the event was headed by Francisco Guerrero, the OAS Secretary for Strengthening Democracy; Stéphane Perrault, Chief Electoral Officer of Canada; and Jason Tolland, Director General for South America and Inter-American Affairs, Global Affairs Canada. Elder Claudette Commanda, from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, opened the event with a traditional ceremony.

During the XVI RAE, electoral authorities will address topics such as artificial intelligence in elections, conflict management in electoral processes, the role and protection of electoral observers, and effective models for the regulation, transparency, and control of political financing.

The Inter-American Meetings of Electoral Authorities promote the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and successful practices in electoral administration within the region. These meetings facilitate horizontal cooperation to continuously strengthen the institutional capacities of electoral bodies and improve the way elections are conducted in the Americas. The XVI RAE is the only forum that brings together all the electoral authorities of the hemisphere and aims to provide a space where these authorities can identify and discuss the challenges they face.

In 2018, the OAS General Assembly, through resolution AG/RES. 2927 (XLVIII-O/18), instructed “the General Secretariat, through the Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation, to serve as Technical Secretariat of the Inter-American Meetings of Electoral Authorities, so as to continue to offer an institutional venue for sharing experiences, lessons learned, and dissemination of information on elections issues in the region, as well as the recommendations made by the electoral observation missions.”

Reference: E-057/23