In Sudan beginning Jan. 4: Deborah Hakes +249 904 999 374 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In Sudan: Sanne van den Bergh +249 911 714 041
Khartoum…Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, former Tanzania Prime Minister Joseph Warioba, and Dr. John Hardman, Carter Center president and CEO, will lead the Carter Center's international observation delegation for the January 2011 referendum on the self-determination of Southern Sudan. The Center will deploy more than 100 observers across Sudan and the overseas voting locations to assess the referendum process and observe polling, counting, and tabulation.
"The referendum is a critical step in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement," said President Carter. "We hope this process will help the people of Sudan work for a peaceful future, regardless of the outcome."
The objectives of the Carter Center's observation mission in Sudan are to provide an impartial assessment of the overall quality of the referendum process and demonstrate international interest in Sudan's referendum. Members of the Carter Center's delegation will meet with key political leaders, referendum authorities, domestic and international observer groups, and members of the international and diplomatic community, among others.
The Carter Center is encouraged that the Governments of Sudan and Southern Sudan have committed themselves to a peaceful conduct of the process, acceptance of credible referendum results, and respect for the rights of all Sudanese citizens, whether the Southern Sudanese vote for unity or separation.
"It is important for all political leaders to honor their commitments to sustainable peace in Sudan as set out in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement," said Annan.
The Center has maintained an election mission in Sudan since 2008, and organized a long-term observation mission for Sudan's April 2010 general elections. Additionally, the Carter Center is supporting non-partisan domestic observation in Sudan, including the training and deployment of 4,600 observers for the April general elections and an estimated 3,000 observers for the upcoming Southern Sudan referendum.
In advance of the January 2011 referendum, the Center deployed 16 long-term observers throughout Sudan in September to report on referendum preparations, the campaign period, and political developments. In November, an additional 56 observers were deployed in Sudan and the overseas referendum centers to monitor the voter registration process, a critical exercise determining who can participate in the referendum. The Carter Center concluded that despite remaining challenges the process was generally credible and allowed the vast majority of Southern Sudanese the opportunity to register.
The Carter Center initiated its referendum observation activities in Sudan in August 2010, following an invitation from the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC). The Center assesses the referendum process in Sudan based on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), Sudan's Interim National Constitution, the Southern Sudan Referendum Act, and Sudan's obligations for democratic elections contained in regional and international agreements, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Carter Center conducts observation activities in accordance with the Declaration of Principles of International Election Observation and Code of Conduct that was adopted at the United Nations in 2005 and endorsed by 35 election observation groups.
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.