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This year the Open Government Partnership (OGP) is celebrating its five-year anniversary, having grown from eight participating countries to 70 by 2016. At the same time the 180 signatories to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) have launched the second review cycle (link is external) of their commitments under the Convention on prevention (chapter II) and asset recovery (chapter V).

Severe heat waves, droughts and catastrophic flooding – exacerbated by a changing climate – have wreaked havoc on Pakistan’s agricultural sector, which employs almost half of the country’s population. Small-scale farmers like Asghar Leghari often bear the brunt of such devastating climate impacts, but few do what Leghari did: he sued the Pakistani government for failing to implement its 2012 National Climate Change Policy. And despite widespread corruption that often weakens citizens’ ability to bring officials to account, Leghari won.

More than 4,000 people gathered in Paris from 7-9th December for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit 2016 hosted by the Government of France. OGP is a unique partnership dedicated to making government decision making more open, inclusive and responsive. Summit attendees included representatives from 80 governments, many of them heads of state and senior ministers; leaders from cities, municipalities and regions; and leading civil society organizations from around the world.

Democracy is at risk. Authoritarianism is rising. Populism is upending the political order. Spaces for civil society are closing. Those are the somber messages that arose again and again at the first day of the annual Open Government Partnership Summit, a global conference that convened thousands of activists and officials in Paris.

 

Where previous annual conferences have featured optimistic reflections upon the world and the arc of its politics on stage, with undercurrents of warnings from journalists and advocates about restrictions, surveillance and ongoing secrecy...

The events of 2016 have challenged many of our assumptions. It certainly doesn’t feel like politics as normal. Commentators have wondered whether basic values are now being questioned. We have long assumed that open markets, open borders and open government were becoming the default. Indeed, as I write this I am attending the Open Government Partnership Summit in Paris...

The last year has been marked by a global rise of populist political projects, carrying nationalist aspirations of closed borders and ultimately revealing the deep mistrust of political elites and traditional government institutions. Globally, electoral defeats of liberal parties have brought to light the often overlooked social discontent that led to citizens rejecting traditional decision making elites.

Une petite révolution démocratique est en marche. Certains d’entre vous connaissent déjà l’Open Government Partnership (OGP), cette organisation d’Etats et de représentants de la société civile effectuant un travail remarquable pour faire progresser la transparence de l'action publique et la participation citoyenne.

Die deutsche Zivilgesellschaft schaut auf den OGP Gipfel in Paris mit hohen Erwartungen, weil Deutschland am 7. Dezember schließlich offiziell Teil der internationalen Partnerschaft für mehr Transparenz, Bürgerbeteiligung, weniger Korruption und innovativen Regierungsansätze wird. Bundesinnenminister Thomas de Maizière ist zum Gipfel angereist, um die deutsche Teilnahme zu erklären.

Gender issues still have a long way ahead in all branches of government. We need to change the social and political agenda that, for centuries, has strengthened the male gender and oppressed the role of women.

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