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OGP in the News – Week of May 30, 2016

Alex Vedovi|

A series providing a round-up of media attention received by the Open Government Partnership throughout the world.

The biggest news in the world of OGP this week was the Americas Regional Meeting, where some 500 individuals from around the world gathered in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo to discuss open government issues. Press coverage of the event was strongest in Spanish- and Portuguese-language outlets with over 70 pieces related to the event so far.

An article in Terra, a multinational Spanish-language media company, highlighted remarks made by Sanjay Pradhan, Chief Executive Officer of OGP, as well as those of Fabrizio Scrollini, a Uruguayan civil society representative, during the opening of the event. Scrollini was quoted on the importance of OGP to the Americas:

“There exists this idea that Latin America is at the center of Open Government Partnership, and it is true, but the region also presents a series of claroscuros (or contrasts of light and dark)…. The most noteworthy example of corruption today is the Panama Papers, but that is not all, there are also the many cases we have heard about in the last two years from diverse governments. [These governments] approve substantial reforms related to  access to information, transparency and open data [but they also] approve and purchase surveillance systems and invasive technologies.”

A number of other sources, such as of Uruguay and El Sol of Colombia, also reported on the OGP Regional Meeting. However, the majority of the coverage of the event was focused on the ongoing corruption turmoil in Brazil – in particular the first visit of a U.S. government delegation to the country since Brazil’s turbulent change of government last month, which came immediately after the delegation’s participation in the Montevideo gathering.

The Regional Meeting was mentioned in dozens of articles with variations on the headline “United States to send first mission to Brazil following suspension of Rousseff.” Among the major outlets to run the story were El País of Spain, El País of Brazil, Universo Online of Brazil, Yahoo Noticias, Terra, Fox News Latino, El Universal of Venezuela, La Hora of Ecuador, and La Razón of Bolivia. Estadão, Carta Maior, Ariquemes Online, and others featured similarly-themed pieces citing OGP.

Elsewhere in the world, the European Commission documented France’s development of its National Action Plan in collaboration with civil society. Mexico’s El Financiero and El Porvenir referenced OGP in relation to ongoing national conversations on transparency. Prensa Latina reported on Guatemala’s continuing efforts to fulfill commitments in its National Action Plan. In Sierra Leone, President Ernest Bai Koroma urged citizens to ‘comply with the OGP process’ as that country develops its second National Action Plan. And both News Ghana and Modern Ghana quoted Benjamin Boakye, president of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy, on the necessity of initiatives like OGP to oil governance on the continent.

And last but not least, from the world of social media, attendees at the OGP Americas Meeting in Montevideo were graced by the appearance of a very popular open government holy man, who came replete with promotional materials!

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