UN to Send Experts to Help Elections in Tunisia: Ban
    2011-03-25 06:51:47     Xinhua      Web Editor: Sun

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Thursday that the world body will send a panel of experts to help organize elections in Tunisia.

The secretary-general made the announcement to reporters here after he briefed the UN Security Council on the current situation in Libya and his recent trip to Egypt and Tunisia.

"We will soon dispatch a team of experts to Tunisia to help prepare the upcoming elections," Ban said. "They are going to have a Constitutional Assembly election in July."

In early March, Tunisian interim President Fouad Mebazaa said that an election is expected on July 24 to form a constitutional council.

Setting up a constitutional council has been one of the main demands of a number of protesters, political parties and others.

Also early this month, Jamel Amor, Ban's special envoy, led a UN delegation in visiting Tunisia to assess the North African country's needs in organizing free and transparent elections.

"Tunisia has also indicated a need for assistance with security sector reform and modernization of the judiciary," he said. "The United Nations must also change in light of the new realities if we are to help the people of the region to achieve the full potential of this moment."

Ban, who just returned to New York from his trip to North Africa and the Middle East on Wednesday, also pledged to offer the full UN help for the transition to democracy in Tunisia.

The full UN assistance was also included in a message Ban sent to Tunisia when he was visiting the country on Tuesday.

"The United Nations is ready to provide all support to the Tunisian government and people, particularly in the area of the electoral process and constitution drafting and helping the Tunisian government to restore the rule of law and promote human rights, promote gender equality," he said after meeting with Tunisian Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi in Tunis.

"In both Egypt and Tunisia, I promised the full support of the United Nations, based on our extensive experience in assisting countries making democratic and post-conflict transitions," Ban told reporters here Thursday.

"I went to the region to listen, to hear the new voices that have emerged," he said. "I went to show solidarity with their march toward full democracy."

"The events in Egypt and Tunisia and across the Arab world represent the greatest opportunity for the evolution of democracy and human rights in a generation," he said. "It is vital that these transitions succeed."

"In every conversation, I pledged to mobilize an international assistance effort, led by the United Nations system in close coordination with key international donors with special emphasis on socio-economic development," he added.



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