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Reformers in Government and Civil Society to Scale Up Inclusion, Civic Participation and Defend Democratic Values

Nearly 100 Governments Meet in Ottawa for the 6th Open Government Partnership Global Summit

Ottawa, CA – At the 6th Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit in Canada, nearly 2,000 reformers inside and out of government from 80 countries committed to defending the rights of assembly, association and speech and ensuring more inclusive policies and practices to open government. Ministers from more than 40 countries joined a number of civil society organizations including Transparency International, Oxfam, CARE, ICNL, and others in Ottawa from May 29 to 31.

The Summit, which kicked-off with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, focused on three key priorities:

Participation:

Summit attendees, including Canadian Ministers Joyce Murray,  Krystia Freeland, Navdeep Bains, and Karina Gould acknowledged the promise of technology to better engage citizens, but also pledged to protect declining civic space and work together to make on and offline connections more open, accountable and inclusive. Civic space is currently declining in more than 100 countries, including in many countries participating in this year’s Summit.

Recognizing these challenges and that local governments have more direct engagement with citizens, the OGP Steering Committee also adopted a new strategy for the OGP Local program, expanding the partnership’s efforts to promote open local government.

And to better support the co-creation process in Africa and OECD countries, OGP signed Memorandums of Understanding with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and OECD to support in the design and implementation of reforms that advance gender and inclusion, enhance civic space, and anti-corruption in Africa and OECD countries.

Inclusion:

Former President of Ireland and current Chair of the Elders Mary Robinson challenged summit attendees to continue to make progress on gender and inclusion noting that many of today’s man made challenges will require feminist solutions that involve diverse voices, perspectives and experiences.  OGP also showcased Break the Roles, a campaign to encourage 30 percent of OGP members to take impactful action on inclusion in 2019.  A new coalition of 22 members, including Oxfam and Open Contracting Partnership was announced to support the campaign.

“To move forward as a partnership, we need to acknowledge first that we often leave people by the sidelines. We need to promote the participation of women and marginalized communities in all aspects of government and civil society life. We must build the system that will let us thrive together”, said Vice-Speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament Aida Kasymalieva who announced the Break the Roles Coalition.

For the first time in an Open Government Partnership event, there were 52% more female speakers than men (47%). This is paired with an unprecedented amount of gender and inclusion focused sessions, from mainstreaming gender in open government processes to building a more inclusive policy-making process.

Impact:

OGP launched its flagship report on the state of open government, providing a thorough and honest review of progress made by OGP member countries in the first eight years of the partnership. OGP Global Report synthesizes OGP’s data and findings into one flagship publication to provide thought leadership to the partnership, and provide comparative snapshots on all OGP countries.

To further, OGP’s impact, Open Society Foundation (OSF) Patrick Gaspard announced that the organization has awarded OGP a challenge grant worth a potential of $10 million in new support. The matching grant will help OGP scale up its work, support its members in government and civil society to co-create and implement open government reforms that deliver results for citizens.

At the OGP summit, we saw the launch of the Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group, a coalition of countries advancing an emerging global norm on establishing public and open beneficial ownership registers. This effort, initiated by the UK government, and with civil society partners like OpenOwnership, is going to be anchored on OGP for implementation. OGP countries that endorsed this coalition include, Argentina, Armenia, Finland, Kenya, Latvia, Norway.

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About OGP

Open Government Partnership brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive and accountable.

The Open Government Partnership formally launched on September 20, 2011, when the 8 founding governments (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States) endorsed the Open Government Declaration and announced their country action plans. Since 2011, 79 OGP participating countries and 20 subnational governments have made over 3,100 commitments to make their governments more open and accountable.

For questions or to set up interviews please contact: Jose Perez Escotto, Communications Officer, jose.perez@opengovpartnership.org.

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