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One of the main responsibilities of the Political Affairs Program under the Peace and Security Division is to contribute to the prevalence of peace and security, in the IGAD region through preventive diplomacy, focusing on democracy, governance, election and human rights thereby paving the way for a gradual political integration of the region.

Policy harmonization is one of strategies that the Program is perusing to achieve the set objective. To kick start the process of harmonization of policies of Member States on Democracy, Governance and Election, the Division commissioned a baseline study on the issues under consideration.

The main purpose of the study was to identify existing legal frameworks currently practiced by Member States in relation to the issues, identify similarities and differences and come up with recommendations that could assist to kick start the process of harmonization based on the African Charter on Democracy, Governance and Election.

The study was conducted and the draft study report along with the recommended draft protocol on democracy, governance and election were presented to Member States for validation in a workshop conducted from 4-6 September 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and both documents were validated. The same meeting requested the Secretariat to facilitate presentation of the draft protocol for approval by the IGAD Council following the organization’s procedures.

Accordingly, the Division facilitated the convening of the meeting of a Legal Experts from IGAD Member States from 21-23 January 2013 in the city of Bishoftu (Debre Zeit), to articulate and fine-tune the draft Protocol on Democracy, Governance and Election before it is presented to the IGAD Council of Ministers for approval.

The meeting was attended by Legal Experts from IGAD Member States.

The meeting deliberated on the draft document, enriched and fine-tuned it. The finalized draft Protocol will be presented to the IGAD Council of Ministers for approval in accordance with the procedures of the Secretariat.

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