More Links in News & Events

Arrival Statement by Madeleine Albright before 2001 Presidential Runoff in Peru

I am honored to speak to you on behalf of the joint National Democratic Institute (NDI)/Carter Center international election observer delegation. I am happy to have returned to NDI upon leaving government. It is an organization that I helped found in 1983 and which I have watched closely over the years as it has worked to advance democracy worldwide. I am also pleased that this is a joint delegation with The Carter Center. We are proud of our collaborative effort in Peru over the last 18 months, and I would like to recognize the outstanding contributions of President Carter and The Carter Center around the globe. NDI and The Carter Center have worked well together in many countries over the years, just as the two institutions have advanced their work separately on many fronts.

With me today are two other distinguished leaders of our delegation: former President of Guatemala and current Vice President of Guatemala's Legislative Assembly Ramiro de Leon Carpio, and former ranking member of the US House of Representatives International Relations Committee, Sam Gejdenson. Another leader of the delegation, former President of Costa Rica Rodrigo Carazo, will be joining us later this afternoon. Our 35-member delegation includes past and present government officials, political and civic leaders, experts in elections and human rights and Peruvian specialists from 12 countries. This is the ninth joint NDI/Carter Center delegation to Peru in the last 18 months, and we will send at least one more in the post-election period.

This weekend the eyes of the world will be on Peru. The presence of international election monitors is evidence of outside interest in the success of Peruvian democracy. We want the people of Peru to have the chance to select their leaders freely, fairly and without fear. We want Peru's new President to take office with the mandate and legitimacy that only a genuinely democratic election can provide.

We hope that our presence will contribute not to the election of any particular candidate, but to the integrity and success of the electoral process itself. In that sense, our role is vital, but it is still purely a supporting role.

The fate of Peruvian democracy depends entirely on the will of the Peruvian people. That's why I have been encouraged by Peru's desire to move beyond the mistakes and excesses of the past; to fight corruption; to strengthen respect for the constitution, and to conduct an honest and open electoral process.

We applaud the effort made by the transitional government of President Paniagua, the electoral authorities, the candidates and civic groups who have worked so hard to prepare for Sunday's election. We urge all Peruvians who are eligible to go to the polls and cast their ballots to select a new president for Peru and a bright future for their country within our hemisphere's community of democracies.

Our delegation will observe in 11 of Peru's 25 electoral districts to evaluate the process and report our findings to Peruvians and the international community. We expect to present our preliminary evaluation of the election process during a press conference in Lima on Tuesday.

As always, our delegates are here to support a genuine expression of the will of the Peruvian people. Every member of our delegation is and will remain completely neutral with regard to the results of the election, and none of us will interfere in the electoral process.

We will coordinate our efforts with those of the OAS and European Union observer missions, as well as with the efforts of Transparencia, the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office (Defensoria del Pueblo) and others.

We look forward to a peaceful and well-organized process on election day. Once again, let me say how pleased I am to be in Lima, and to able to support the people of this country in their quest for democracy.


Donate Now

Sign Up For Email

Please sign up below for important news about the work of The Carter Center and special event invitations.

Please leave this field empty
Now, we invite you to Get Involved
Back To Top