“Technology does not
stand still; neither can democracy.”– KOFI ANNAN
Kofi Annan was a lifelong advocate for the right of every citizen to have a say in how they are governed, and by whom. He was adamant that democratic governance and citizen empowerment were integral elements to achieving sustainable development, security and lasting peace, and this principle guides much of the work of the Foundation, most notably our Electoral Integrity Initiative.
As one of his last major initiatives, in 2018 Mr. Annan convened the Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age. The Commission includes members from civil society and government, the technology sector, academia and media; across the year 2019 they examined and reviewed the opportunities and challenges for electoral integrity created by technological innovations.
Assisted by a small secretariat at Stanford University and the Kofi Annan Foundation, the Commission has undertaken extensive consultations and issue recommendations as to how new technologies, social media platforms and communication tools can be harnessed to engage, empower and educate voters, and to strengthen the integrity of elections.
Statement from the Chair of the Commission
“In this digital age, new technologies and social media platforms are profoundly changing democracies – and democratic processes – all over the world. While these provide unequalled potential to deliver citizen’s hopes for democratic governance, they also create new challenges and risks for democratic processes and political rights.
Along with the team at Stanford and the Kofi Annan Foundation, my fellow Commissioners and I are determined to honour Mr. Annan’s legacy and ensure this Commission plays a leading role in defending and strengthening the electoral processes that are at the heart of democracy.”
-Laura Chinchilla, Chair of the Kofi Annan Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age.
Members of the Commission
Kofi Annan Convening Chairman
Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Secretary-General of the UN from 1997 to 2007, and Founding Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation
Laura Chinchilla Chair
Vice-President of the Club of Madrid, Former President of Costa Rica
Yves Leterme Vice-Chair
Secretary-General of International IDEA, Former Prime Minister of Belgium
Stephen Stedman Secretary-General of the Commission
Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Toomas Hendrik Ilves
Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution, Former President of Estonia
Director of Investments at Omidyar Network
James B. McClatchy Professor of Law at Stanford Law School
Research Professor at Stanford University, Former Chief Security Officer at Facebook
President and CEO of the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES)
Founder and CEO at Shift7, Former United States Chief Technology Officer
Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, Former President of Mexico