ABU DHABI, 16th December, 2020 (WAM) — The Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs (MFNCA) and Arab League’s General Secretariat for Electoral Affairs has discussed via videoconference, prospects for cooperation and looked into electoral best practices.
The meeting explored means to maintain the momentum of progress, all while employing advanced tools and practices in organising upcoming elections.
MFNCA Under-Secretary, Tariq Hilal Lootah, noted that the meeting forms part of the joint efforts dedicated to upgrading and enhancing parliamentary practices, in addition to facilitating the exchange of experiences and expertise, which, in turn, leads to advanced, streamlined electoral procedures.
Lootah explained, “The Ministry of State for FNC Affairs doubles as the General Secretariat of the National Election Committee, and in that capacity, we have consistently sought to keep up with best practices and electoral success stories in the region and the world from the day electoral activities were launched in the UAE back in 2006.”
“The cooperation we had from the Arab League’s General Secretariat for Electoral Affairs played a tremendous role in this achievement, consistently opening the door wide for the exchange of expertise and ideas. With that in mind, we look forward to further coordination and partnership in the future,” he added.
Ambassador Ahmed Rashid Khatabi, Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Oversight Sector at the Arab League, said, “The Arab League is dedicated to supporting electoral authorities and has extensive expertise in the sector, having dealt with numerous elections across the Arab World.”
Al Khatabi applauded the UAE’s e-voting procedures, which streamline voting and enhances accuracy, transparency, and speed in calculating and announcing the results. “We truly appreciate the historic decision issued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to expand women’s representation in the Federal National Council to 50 percent, which empowers Arab women and grants them an advanced status that is outstanding on an international scale.”
Counsellor Ahmed Amin Sultan, Supervisor of the Arab League’s General Secretariat for Electoral Affairs, made a presentation on the significant development that the Secretariat has undergone, showcasing its services and initiatives. The meeting also explored opportunities for future collaboration to identify best practices for strengthening coordination between the government and the FNC, promoting political awareness, and upgrading procedures to run polling stations. Attendees explored prospects for implementing smart elections, which help cut costs and catalyse the digital transformation of electoral processes.
Furthermore, the meeting included a segment where the General Secretariat’s approach to implementing e-monitoring was introduced, along with its publications and Arab Parliamentary Work Indexes. The universities team showcased the training workshops, events, and forums that the Secretariat organises, in addition to the ‘Bridge’ programme, which seeks to spread awareness about electoral best practices, upskill those involved in electoral processes, and encourage collaboration and information sharing.