Speech: UK Voices Support for OSCE/ODIHR’s Election Observation Methodology

Ambassador Neil Bush underlines UK support to OSCE/ODIHR’s election observation missions, and their wider work in strengthening democracy in the OSCE region


Madam Chair,

We thank the Russia Delegation for raising the issue of the election observation methodology of OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). It offers an opportunity for the UK, and others, to underline our support for ODIHR’s election observation missions, and their wider work in strengthening democracy in the OSCE region.


We disagree with the Russian delegation’s criticism of ODIHR’s methodology. We have, as 57 participating States, provided ODIHR with a mandate to decide how to credibly and effectively observe elections. The use of expert Needs Assessment Missions as part of ODIHR’s methodology allows the Organization to decide in a transparent, professional and impartial manner, the requirements for election observation missions. The consequence is that they will decide on different observation missions to meet different circumstances.


Madam Chair,

We have collectively provided a mandate on election observation to ODIHR through various Decisions. These numerous Decisions, including Paris and Copenhagen (1990), Rome (1993), Budapest (1994), Oslo (1996), Istanbul (1999), Porto (2002), Maastricht (2003) and Astana (2010). These provide for its autonomy of action. As participating States, our role should be to support ODIHR as it fulfils its mandate as a key enabler of the OSCE’s concept of comprehensive security.


I ask that this statement be attached to the Journal of the Day.