12 governments compete to lead the Open Government Partnership

Washington, Feb 22 (IANS) Governments from around the world, including Canada, South Korea and Sri Lanka, have applied for leadership positions in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee to help lead a growing global movement for open governance.

OGP is a global movement for openness and deeper democracy and a countervailing force against the rise in populism, closing of civic space and distrust in government.

Among the other countries that applied in the OGP Steering Committee are Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Italy, Mongolia, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines and South Africa.

Four of these governments will be elected to serve three year terms.

OGP, a multilateral initiative, has led the charge for open governance and citizen-centered democracy for over five years, promoting cooperation and collaboration between governments and civil society to create policy for the people, by the people, a statement said.

OGP was launched in 2011 to provide an international platform for domestic reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens. Since then, OGP has grown from eight countries to 75 participating countries.

India is not a member of OGP.

As the executive, decision-making body of OGP, the Steering Committee’s main role is to develop, promote and safeguard the values, principles and interests of OGP. The Steering Committee consists of 22 members – 11 from government and 11 from civil society. This is the fourth rotation of the OGP Steering Committee since OGP was launched in September 2011.

The representative of the current government co-chair, France, Secretary of State for State Reform and Simplification Jean-Vincent Placé, said, “Joining the OGP Steering Committee is a great opportunity for global leaders to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption and harness new technologies to make governments more open, effective and accountable.”

OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan, who is of Indian origin, spoke to the need for OGP to have strong leadership in an uncertain geopolitical landscape. “2017 is a milestone year for OGP as it faces challenges to democratic norms around the world and enters a new phase in its work through a strategic refresh. Now more than ever, governments need to reaffirm their commitment to open government principles. The OGP Steering Committee provides an unparalleled platform to do so.”

The Steering Committee applicants will be voted on by all OGP governments from February 22-March 15. Final results will be announced March 15. New Steering Committee members begin their rotation on October 1.

–IANS

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