The Carter Center
The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn to advance peace and health worldwide. The Center aims to assist in supporting human rights, strengthening democracy, and improving the quality of life around the world. The Carter Center has observed more than 70 elections on four continents. The Center is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that does not favor or provide funds to any candidate or party and is not a part of the US Government.
In early 2009, the Carter Center was formally invited to observe Nepal's ongoing peace process and constitutional process, with a focus on local level issues. In June 2009, the Center deployed teams of international and Nepali long-term observers (LTOs) to each of Nepal's five development regions. Carter Center LTOs meet with general citizens, political parties, government and security officials, civil society, marginalized groups, and others in order to understand local concerns at the district and VDC level and then to share these with leaders in Kathmandu. The LTOs focus specifically on key elements of the peace process, including implementation of past agreements, as well as public participation and perceptions of the constitutional process. The Center releases regular public statements with its findings, as well as recommendations on key issues.
The Center's observation activities are intended to demonstrate the support of the international community for Nepal, and to make an independent assessment about the peace and constitutional processes in order to build public confidence and highlight any key areas of concern. The Carter Center believes that, while elections are crucial, they alone are not enough to ensure the success of democracy. It is essential for Nepal to build accountable, effective political institutions and to ensure that citizens can meaningfully participate in the political life of their nation.
The Carter Center's involvement in Nepal began in 2003. Over the past several years, the Center and President Carter have worked to promote inclusive democracy and lasting peace throughout the country. Most recently, the Center was invited to observe the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections. Digital Himalaya is supporting the work of the Carter Center by hosting its reports and statements, in both English and Nepali, since it became active in Nepal in 2009.
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