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Open government initiatives have become a defining goal for public administrators around the world. However, progress is still necessary outside of the executive and legislative sectors. There is a need to know what openness in justice is, to explore its implementation, and to understand what it can do to improve government, society and democracy.

From December 7-9, 2016, France will host the Open Government Partnership Global Summit in Paris. Every two years representatives of government, academia, civil society, multilateral organizations, press, and others meet at the OGP Global Summit to exchange experiences, best practices, and progress on open government initiatives and implementation.

Registration is now open for the 2016 OGP Global Summit.

To many, especially members of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the logic that promises on paper must turn into action is a familiar one. But the ability to practice what is preached is not common in all international collectives and fora, and rarer still in high-level international summits.

On the strength of the language alone, the Anti-Corruption Summit held in London earlier this year was assessed as a success by Transparency International. With more than half of all commitments (56 per cent) considered ‘concrete’, a third ‘new’ and a third ‘ambitious’, we have been celebrating the boldness of the pledges made by our world leaders and will be motivating them to maintain this high-level ambition in anti-corruption commitments elsewhere.

Salutations:

Hearty congratulations to the Open Government Partners on the celebration of five years of hard work and unwavering commitment to the promotion of accountability and transparency. Well done to the OGP for the five successful years of relentless campaign to enhance good governance. It has been five rewarding years of partnerships in promoting fiscal transparency, access to information, public officials' disclosure of assets and citizens' engagement. These goals are central to the effective management of the state and in the last five years, you could not have driven on a better, more impactful and more transformative path.

The course the OGP has championed in the last five years may not be new. Several years before the advent of the OGP, in 2008, we established the Open Government Initiative; several years before the OGP, the public officials' disclosure of assets had been part of our governance system, several years before the advent of the OGP, we had taken steps to ensure access to public information and we have always endeavored to engage citizens in the governance of the state.

En nuestra sociedad actual los ciudadanos exigen un gobierno más democrático y transparente en su gestión, por lo que el gobierno abierto debe representar un mecanismo que afianza la democracia como ente que permite la participación de los interesados en reflexiones de orden políticas y sociales. Considerando la iniciativa de gobierno abierto concebido como un sistema de generación de políticas públicas que vincula la necesaria capacidad de regeneración de la democracia, ofreciendo un futuro verdaderamente democrático con gobiernos eficientes y que puedan brindar un desarrollo económico inclusivo para la gente, donde los valores de la justicia, las libertades y los anhelos de igualdad garanticen la dignidad e integridad de los ciudadanos en nuestros países.

On September 20, 2016, OGP celebrated its fifth anniversary on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. Attended by both high-level government officials and civil society representatives, the event attracted widespread media attention throughout the world and can be relived at any time on the U.N. website.

As we celebrate OGP’s impressive growth in the first five years, let me invite you to envision that we are gathered here at UNGA five years from now.  We would measure our success then not by the number of countries or commitments, but the extent to which OGP made a real difference in the lives of ordinary citizens.  

Debo reconocer que me costó trabajo escribir esta breve intervención. Pero no es extraño, cada vez me cuesta más hacer mi trabajo y, en general, habitar este planeta. Todos los días observo realidades indignantes y dolorosas. Pero ¿qué les puedo decir que ustedes no sepan?

I must admit that it was hard for me to write this short speech. But that is not surprising; it has become increasingly hard for me to do my job and, in general, to inhabit this planet. Every day, I see outrageous and painful realities. But, what can I tell you that you don't know already?

This blog is part of a series on how open government can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The series came out of a collaboration between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bangkok Regional Hub and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) to find practical examples of how open government is helping countries achieve the SDGs in the Asia-Pacific region. For more details on the competition, the blog series, and how open government can help achieve the SDGs, please see our introductory blog post.

Over the past three decades, China has seen meteoric economic development, lifting tens of millions of people out of poverty. However, that development came at a huge environmental cost. Over that same period, river water turned black, farm soil became toxic, and large stretches of China’s skies turned grey. Official statements dismissed hazy skies - the most visible of these pollution problems -  as “fog” or “smoke from barbecue grills.”

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