At yesterday’s ministerial-level meeting of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), members of the steering committee adopted the “Open Government for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” declaration.
The declaration calls on OGP countries to use “Open Government Partnership National Action Plans to adopt commitments that serve as effective tools for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, the declaration outlines the importance of OGP’s core values of transparency, accountability and citizen participation, if the 2030 Agenda is to succeed.
Addressing the gathering, Alejandra Lagunes, co-ordinator of the National Digital Strategy Government of Mexico invited guests to help set “the foundation of a new future for the Open Government Partnership” by promoting “open government as a cross-cutting enabler that will help us achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
Suneeta Kaimal, OGP civil society chair and chief operating officer of the Natural Resource Governance Institute, stressed the importance of citizen action, praising “OGP for promoting the role of civil society in government decision-making.
“The value-add of governments and civil society working together cannot be stressed enough,” he adds. “As lead CSO chair of OGP, I’ve witnessed the tremendous benefit of OGP’s built-in dialogue mechanism, which has the power to bring together sometimes uncommon partners in order to create sustainable changes in government for the benefit of all citizens.”
OGP is most commonly linked to Goal 16 of the SDGs, which aims to, “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”. However, in a seminal paper, “How can the Open Government Partnership Accelerate Implementation fo the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development” presented at the meeting, authors Manish Bapna, Alejandra Lagunes, Mark Robinson, and Sonya Suter argue that OGP should be applied to the entire 2030 Agenda.
OGP Support Unit acting executive director Joe Powell comments: “We believe the Open Government Partnership is the best mechanism for ensuring both government accountability and a guaranteed voice for civil society in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The list of OGP commitments that have led to real change is long and impressive and should serve as a template for any government or civil society group committed to eradicating poverty and ensuring peace both nationally and internationally.”
Also present at the event were members of the Open Government Partnership steering committee including Mexico (lead OGP government co-chair) Brazil, Chile, Croatia, France, Georgia, Indonesia, Philippines, Romania, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States and their civil society counterparts.
The declaration is expected to be adopted by all 66 OGP countries on October 28 at the OGP Global Summit in Mexico City. This will be the first major political gathering to take place after this week’s ratification of the Post 2030 goals and discussion of SDG implementation will be a major topic.