The Commonwealth Secretariat became an international signatory in 2005 to the Declaration of Principles and Code of Conduct for observer missions. It states that international observers should “provide an impartial and accurate assessment of the nature of election processes for the benefit of the population of the country.”
We work on behalf of our members, providing assistance on request and never through imposition. This permits us to work in partnership and have proper access to representatives from governments, political parties and civil society. An invitation means there is a broad welcome that allows Observer Groups to work effectively with governments and stakeholders, including election commissions, the media and political parties.
After an initial request from a member government, the Commonwealth Secretary-General ensures that each observer group comprises a blend of politicians, electoral officials, civil society, the media, the judiciary, gender and youth so that a broad range of skills are represented. It also ensures that necessary support reaches the entire country.