Press Release- Major Announcements Made on First Day of OGP Global Summit in Mexico

● Three new countries signal their intent to join OGP
● Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto presents prestigious OGP Awards
● Winnie Byanyima officially becomes an OGP Global Ambassador 
● So far 36 countries have signed The Open Government Partnership’s Joint Declaration on Open Government for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Mexico City, Mexico –  October 28, 2015, At the opening ceremony of the OGP’s Global Summit today it was announced that Sri Lanka, Cote D’Ivoire, and Papua New Guinea will join the Open Government Partnership. This brings the number of participating countries to 69, up from eight when the Open Government Partnership was founded in 2011. Welcoming them, President Pena Nieto of Mexico said: “Open governments are the new frontier of democracy”.

This year 30 countries, nearly half the OGP’s government partners, competed for the prestigious Open Government Awards on the theme of “improving public services through open government”. The diversity of the initiatives was compelling, ranging from health care and education to neighborhood planning and safety in public day care centers. Uruguay won first prize, with Indonesia coming in second, and the United Kingdom third. Regional champions were Mexico, Tunisia, Armenia, and Croatia.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, congratulated OGP for some real successes, but also warned that “walking the walk of open government means not only refraining from muzzling one’s critics and refraining from stealing public resources, but finding ways to empower citizens so they can use their greater freedom to shape the government they want.” She stressed the important role of Civil Society in OGP emphasizing that “OGP can and must serve as a model of what can be gained when governments view civil society groups as partners rather than adversaries, and when laws empower citizens rather than curtail their basic rights.”

Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, was officially named an OGP Ambassador. The OGP Steering Committee feel that Byanyima’s notable career in politics, diplomacy, and world-wide development make her an ideal Ambassador. Byanyima thanked OGP and commented by video that: “The only way we can achieve the ambitious Global Goals, and hope to end poverty by 2030, is ensuring there are opportunities for citizen participation and meaningful ways to hold governments to account.”

Referring to  The Open Government Partnership’s Joint Declaration on Open Government for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which has already been signed by 36 OGP countries Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme said, “OGP members have made a head start in what is understood as key to progress across the SDGS – securing stakeholders’ commitment to build the kind of societies which make sustainable development possible.” She highlighted the strong role that OGP can have in implementation of the SDGs: “OGP’s framework and model of cooperation have already equipped its members with some of the key elements of what it will take to deliver on the 2030 Agenda”

NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. About the Open Government Partnership
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multilateral initiative that was launched in 2011 to provide a platform for domestic reformers to secure concrete commitments and make their governments more responsive, accountable and transparent to their citizens. The OGP promotes the principles of transparency, accountability, citizen participation and innovation in 66 member countries (71 as of Wed. October 28) that have profited from its global platform to make over 2,000 open government commitments. For further information visit: www.opengovpartnership.org

2. About the Open Government Global Summit
Every two years, the Country Chair hosts the OGP Global Summit, the largest gathering of open government practitioners from all over the world. Representatives from governments, academia, civil society and multilateral organizations get together to exchange experiences and share best practices and major developments in open government. The Summit presents an opportunity to raise the profile of open government issues internationally and to explore how they link to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

3. For further information regarding the link between OGP and the UN’s 2030
Agenda for Sustainable Development please see our paper: How Can the Open Government Partnership Accelerate Implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development?

4. Follow latest Summit developments:
● For more information about the Summit visit: http://ogpsummit.org/
● For more information about OGP visit: www.opengovpartnership.org
● Twitter:  @opengovpart  #OGP15
● Livestream: www.opengovpartnership.org
● Facebook at www.facebook.com/OpenGovernmentPartnership
● Special Huffington Post Series: huffingtonpost.com/news/open-government-partn
● Images for sharing will be available via our Flickr channel.


MEDIA CONTACT
Open Government Partnership Support Unit
Dietlind Lerner, Communications Director
press@opengovpartnership.org

Filed Under: OGP News