General Release: Open Government Partnership Marks 5 Year Anniversary at United Nations
NEW YORK, 20 SEPTEMBER 2016 – The Open Government Partnership (OGP) marked its fifth anniversary today with a High-Level Forum on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Heads of State from around the world joined leading civil society figures to recommit to the value of open governance and the crucial role it can play in solving some of the world’s most pressing issues.
During the forum, incoming OGP government co-chair President François Hollande of France cautioned audience members: “the real peril for democracy is indifference, and that happens when decisions are made without the people. So it’s our common business—those of us who are involved in this initiative—we really have to make a considerable effort so that democracy can be something that is shared.” He went on to highlight the importance of transparency, stressing that “transparency is part of the economy. The decisions that are made in the public sphere by assemblies or governments have to be known and understood by everybody.”
“OGP should be proud of its accomplishments over its first five years, which have elevated the profile of good governance and led to thousands of new commitments from governments and civil society alike,” said Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President of the World Resources Institute and OGP lead civil society co-chair. “However, at a time when civic space is closing in too many countries, it is vital for us to raise our sights even higher.”
Oxfam International Executive Director and OGP Ambassador Winnie Byanyima challenged governments to be more present for the people they represent. “Under the cruelty of Idi Amin, I grew up seeing how closed and oppressive governments deny people’s rights and steal their dignity, especially the poorest and especially women. But oppression is not the only way a government can fail its people – it can also fail by being brutally absent.”
Launched five years ago, with eight governments and nine civil society organizations at a side event during the United Nations General Assembly, OGP is a unique international initiative aimed at securing concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to make governments more open, effective, and accountable to citizens around the world. Today OGP is composed of 70 governments, 15 subnational governments, seven multilateral organizations, and thousands of civil society organizations who together have made over 3,000 commitments towards open government reform.
OGP Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Pradhan said: “OGP grew more quickly than anyone ever imagined it would, which is testimony to an increasing demand around the world for a more open relationship between governments and the people they serve. However, the success of OGP over the next five years will be measured not by the number of countries or commitments but by the extent to which we deliver transformative impact in the lives of ordinary citizens.”
Notes to editors:
The event was also live-tweeted using the hashtag: #5YearsOGP.
To watch our “5 Years of OGP” video, please click here.
Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a unique multilateral initiative aimed at securing concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to make governments more open, effective, and accountable to citizens around the world.
OGP was formally launched on September 20, 2011, at the sidelines of a UN General Assembly meeting, when eight heads of state,along with an equal number of civil society leaders, endorsed the Open Government Declaration and published the first cohort of OGP National Action Plans with specific open government reform commitments. OGP has since grown to include 69 governments (representing a third of the world’s population), seven multilateral bodies and hundreds of civil society organizations. OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) holds governments accountable for their commitments by producing thorough, impartial reports that track progress on National Action Plans.
For questions or to set up interviews, please contact:
In New York: Dietlind Lerner, communications director
In Washington DC: Rachel Ostrow, communications officer
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