Democracy Promotion & Election Observation

Over the last two decades, CANADEM has worked with the Government of Canada to send observers to monitor elections around the world. These short and long term observers deployed by CANADEM have played a crucial role in strengthening the democratic process globally. Canadian electoral observers participated in election observation missions at the Presidential, Parliamentary, Legislative and Municipal levels. 

These electoral observation missions contributes to Canada's efforts to strengthen the ability of multilateral institutions to assess elections against national and international commitments and to increase the awareness/engagement of Canadians in these efforts. By ensuring that eminently qualified and experienced observers are deployed to international observation missions, the credibility of the mission and of the election, along with the effectiveness of the aid associated with deploying these experts to the field, are greatly enhanced. Free and fair elections are one of the pillars upon which democracy is based, and electoral observation is an essential component to ensuring the fairness of the democratic election process. 

By drawing on a civilian reserve of screened Canadian electoral and governance experts, CANADEM shortlists and conducts deployment logistics for selected candidates. Since 2002, 3339 Canadian election observers have been recruited and deployed by CANADEM to 154 multilateral and bilateral missions.

CANADEM has been involved in Election Observation Missions with the following partners:

  • Global Affairs Canada

  • Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR)

  • Organization of American States (OAS)

  • European Union (EU)

  • The Carter Center

CANADEM's performance under Global Affairs Canada's (formerly DFATD) Multilateral Elections Observation Program (2008-2013) was reviewed and evaluated.

The summary evalution of MEOP noted that "CANADEM’s performance has been exemplary in acting as a service organization to operationalize Canadian election observers for both multilateral and bilateral missions” and "...that CANADEM has done an excellent job in sourcing, organizing, contracting, and providing training for Canadian participation in EOMs."

The evaluation recommended that "CANADEM continue to be utilized as the primary agency responsible for training, contracting, and fielding of individual Canadian election observers."

CANADEM’s past election observation missions have supported the OSCE in their missions around the world for elections that respect fundamental freedoms and are characterized by equality, universality, political pluralism, confidence, transparency and accountability, with the financial support of Global Affairs Canada.

In 2019 and 2020, Ukraine successfully organized presidential, parliamentary, and municipal elections. CANADEM, with funding from Global Affairs Canada, designed, deployed and managed Mission Canada (349 short-term observers and 105 long-term observers).

 

In addition to CANADEM's electoral observation mission, CANADEM also seconded Canadian observers to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights’ (ODIHR) Election Observation Mission (209 short-term observers and 38 long-term observers) to observe all three electoral processes.

The Missions’ mandate was to provide an assessment of the electoral process in Ukraine, in compliance with UN and OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections, as well as with national legislation.

Mission Canada’s and ODIHR’s final reports include recommendations to
improve the electoral process in Ukraine. Most of these recommendations have been accepted by Ukrainian authorities and many are already being
implemented.

For more information, please visit Mission Canada's website and read CANADEM's 2019 Annual Report

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