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Introduction


Chairperson Kofi Annan at the Global Commission’s launch in Pretoria, South Africa. © Debbie Yasbek
Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security.

Elections are vital to democratic government, but they are not sufficient. Too often, we see incumbents rig the elections, illicit funding or media bias distort the electoral process, and losing candidates refuse to accept the results. Where elections are marred in these ways, people lose faith in democracy and the political process, and human rights and security are put at risk.


The Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security, jointly created by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and the Kofi Annan Foundation, is made up of eminent individuals from around the world. It aims to highlight the importance of the integrity of elections to achieving a more secure, prosperous and stable world.


The Global Commission seeks to bolster national stakeholders who work to promote and protect the integrity of their elections and to improve international assistance to those national stakeholders.


The Commission aims to:



  • strengthen national commitment to the professional conduct of elections, including supporting high-quality, credible domestic electoral monitoring, and competent, professional Election Management Bodies with full independence of action;
  • raise the costs for those who seek to manipulate elections, and ensure that when elections take place, the potential for abuse and violence are reduced;
  • put forward a more strategic approach to international election assistance, integrating electoral support with the long-term need for democratic governance as a cornerstone of development and security;
  • build international consensus to stand firm in cases where parties try to steal elections.


The Global Commission has distilled recommendations to governments, regional and international organizations on how to prioritize and implement principles and practices to enhance the integrity of electoral processes.