Peace, elections and democracy

Heads of the political parties sign a voluntary code of conduct as a sign of their support for fair election campaigning in Myanmar (June 2015).
Heads of the political parties sign a voluntary code of conduct as a sign of their support for fair election campaigning in Myanmar (June 2015). © FDFA

The Peace, Elections and Democracy thematic approach of the Peace and Human Rights Division (PHRD) aims to prevent and mitigate violence and conflict by strengthening democratic processes (electoral, constitutional and parliamentary) for the peaceful and legitimate sharing of power. The approach is unique as it combines peace policy tools (dialogue facilitation, preventive diplomacy and mediation) with technical expertise (legal expertise, assisting political parties, democratic processes experts) to promote human security.

In practice, this means that in states undertaking reforms in the wake of armed conflict or the fall of an authoritarian regime, specialists from the PHRD assist – at the request of the different political parties and other stakeholders – with the holding of elections and with constitutional and parliamentary reforms. The specialists also observe elections and provide support to national parliaments.  The PHRD's work is supported by and complements the efforts of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), whose projects are longer term. Thanks to its long-standing experience and expertise in democracy as well as in providing good offices, Switzerland is viewed worldwide as a credible partner that contributes its know-how in a neutral manner.

Elections to Peace

In collaboration with the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and swisspeace, Switzerland organised a "Senior Level Exchange Elections to Peace - E2P" retreat in Geneva in 2018, which focused on the connection between elections and peacebuilding. The event brought together a wide array of national and international representatives. Diplomats, politicians, academics and practitioners from Mozambique, Nigeria, Kosovo, Georgia and Zimbabwe took part in productive discussions on peacebuilding, mediation and electoral assistance. 

Elections to Peace – Publication related to the Senior-Level Exchange "Elections to Peace" – E2P (PDF, 1.3 MB, English)

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