CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

January 15, 2010 11:00 ET

Canada to Send Election Observers to Ukraine

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 15, 2010) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced that Canada will be sending up to 270 election observers to monitor the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine.

"Canada has a long and proud history of providing election observers to countries to ensure free and fair elections," noted Minister Oda. "This is a very important vote in Ukraine and in recognition of our special relationship; we are pleased to support this democratic process."

The Canadian observers for the first round of the election, together with observers from other countries, will work under the auspices of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) following an official invitation from the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Canada's contribution to the first round of voting on January 17 will include six long-term and 60 short-term observers as well as four Canadian Embassy staff in Kiev. Should a second-round vote be required, Canada will send up to 200 additional observers. The second mission will be organized by CANADEM with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

It is also expected that Canadian Members of Parliament will be travelling to Ukraine to monitor the first round of elections under the auspices of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

"We are delighted to see that Prime Minister Harper has decided to send a major Canadian Observer Mission to Ukraine for the Presidential Elections," said Bob Onyschuk, Chair of the Canada Ukraine Foundation (CUF) which will be working in cooperation with the Government of Canada to support the democratic process. "Ukraine is still a fragile democracy, and the 2010 Presidential Election will be as important to the future of Ukraine's democratic development, as was the 2004 Presidential Election (the Orange Revolution)."

"Ensuring free and fair elections is critical to Ukraine's developing democracy and we are proud that Canadian election observers will continue to stand by the people of Ukraine," said Paul Grod, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC).

The Government of Canada has collaborated with the UCC and CUF in implementing this initiative.

Observers will monitor the electoral process to ensure compliance with OSCE commitments, international standards for democratic elections and national legislation.

Ukraine is one of CIDA's countries of focus for development assistance. http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/acdi-cida/ACDI-CIDA.nsf/Eng/JUD-1211102120-L23


BACKGROUNDER

Ukraine conducted two parliamentary elections in 2006 and 2007, both of which were deemed free and fair by international observers. The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has again recommended that international observers should monitor the Presidential election in January 2010.

Following an official invitation from the Government of Ukraine, OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights has planned an international monitoring mission with 60 long-term and 600 short-term observers. It has invited OSCE participating states, including Canada, to each send up to 10 percent of the total number of observers requested. For Canada, that would mean up to six long-term and 60 short-term observers, as well as an additional four staff from the Canadian Embassy.

Should a second-round vote be required, Canada will send up to 200 additional observers. The second mission will be organized by CANADEM with funding from the CIDA.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Jessica Fletcher
    Press Secretary
    819-953-6238
    or
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    819-953-6534
    media@acdi-cida.gc.ca