India in April 2017 contributed USD 250000 to the United Nations programme for helping countries to hold elections and develop their electoral systems. Eenam Gambhir, the first Secretary in India’s Mission to the Unite Nations, presented the cheque to Kyoko Shiotani, Chief of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General at the UN Department of Political Affairs, on 18 April 2017. It is India’s second contribution of USD 250000 to the programmes for electoral assistance and capacity building. The first contribution was made in the year 2012.
The Election Assistance Division was set up in 1991. Through the division, the United Nations has helped over 100 countries with their elections. The division principally provides technical assistance for organising and conducting elections. However, it has also sent observers to ensure the integrity of elections at the request of the General Assembly or the Security Council, and even organised elections in Cambodia and Timor-Leste. The foundation of UN Electoral Assistance is Article 21 (3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which provides that “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections.”