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Carter Center Featured Partner: Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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Featured October 2016

Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) supports the Carter Center's limited election observation mission in the Philippines

The Carter Center is proud to recognize the partnership of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia (DFAT) for its support of limited election observation on the Philippine island of Mindanao, in collaboration with The Asia Foundation (TAF). The partnership evidences a mutual dedication to working at the forefront of promoting people's freedom, rights, and democratic development.

Amid the uncertainty regarding the on-going peace process between the Government of the Philippines and Muslim secessionist movements in the southern Philippines, there has been a need for impartial, evidence-based information, analysis and recommendations. The aim of the 2016 mission was to promote credible and peaceful elections in Mindanao. The mission supported DFAT's objective of improving the conditions for peace and stability in Mindanao by supporting local mechanisms for averting an escalation in violence.

DFAT oversees Australian foreign affairs, trade and development assistance. It works to help make Australia stronger, safer and more prosperous by promoting and protecting the peoples' interests internationally and contributing to global stability and economic growth. DFAT invests substantially in supporting electoral processes in the Indo-Pacific region, both through political engagement and development assistance. Elections provide a formal mechanism for improving representative governance, the responsiveness of states to their citizenry, and the peaceful transfer of power.

The Carter Center plays a leading role, internationally, in supporting impartial and credible elections. It has monitored more than 100 elections in 39 countries since 1989, forging many of the techniques now common to the field.

This is not the Carter Center's first involvement in the Philippines. It began an initiative in 2006 to address emergent challenges to election observation as part of its Democratic Election Standards project, and one of the focus countries was the Philippines. In the 2010 elections, The Carter Center had a team which watched the testing and sealing of the Precinct Court Optical Scan (PCOS) machines as well as voting and precinct-level results transmission throughout metro Manila, Baguio City, and Bacolod.

Throughout the 2016 project, The Carter Center drew on The Asia Foundation's extensive Mindanao expertise. TAF has been active in the Philippines since 1954, with a large focus on supporting peace in Mindanao both through assisting communities to manage their own conflict, and through participation in the formal peace process. Together, The Carter Center, DFAT and TAF are supporting the efforts of the people of the Philippines to conduct the election process in a more peaceful environment in future national and local elections.

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Programs Supported by This Partner:

Democracy Program

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