Event celebrates launch of global election body

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Event celebrates launch of global election body


Lee In-bok, a National Election Commission chairman, speaks at the A-WEB launch yesterday. [NEWSIS]

The Republic of Korea National Election Commission yesterday held a general meeting in Songdo International Business District, Incheon, to celebrate the launch of the Association of World Election Bodies, or A-WEB.

About 300 officials from international organizations and election commissions from some 120 countries attended the event, according to the Incheon Free Economic Zone.

The launch comes two years after the National Election Commission proposed the establishment of the association at an international forum in Seoul. The commission had since been actively lobbying to launch the group here in meetings with international election bodies across South America, Africa and Europe.

A-WEB is aimed at boosting the exchange of election-related information, knowledge and experience worldwide and supporting free and fair elections in developing countries. The organizations participating in the association include 13 international groups, such as the United Nations Development Programme, and about 40 non-governmental organizations.

Korea’s election system, which has thrived in tandem with democracy within a relatively short time span, is hoped to serve as an example for elections in developing nations, the commission said.

“Election is the ‘flower of democracy,’” said Incheon Mayor Song Young-gil, in an address at the launch in Songdo Convensia Convention Center. “The [Incheon] government will provide active support for A-WEB to take root in Songdo.”

A-WEB’s office will be based in Songdo on the 24th floor of G Tower inside the Songdo International City, according to the Incheon Free Economic Zone.

Songdo International City has been luring a flurry of international organizations to build their nest there. So far, about a dozen international organizations have decided or planned to move their offices into the city.

BY SEO JI-EUN [spring@joongang.co.kr]

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