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Monday, August 11, 2014

Opportunity knocks again for an announcement on Open Government Partnership?

US Secretary of State Kerry is in Sydney for the Australia -United States Ministerial Consultations to commence  tomorrow.

In June, in Washington, he said 
And whether it is support for democracy, rule of law, standing up for human rights, speaking out across the planet, Australia is at our side.
Prime Minister Abbott at the time said it is important to ensure "we are all good international citizens. Because the lesson of history is that we will all advance together or none of us will advance at all."  
PM Abbott is in London now for talks with UK PM Cameron. Mr Abbott has spoken of the "enduring community of interest and values between our two countries."  

Last week at the US -Africa Summit the US outlined its support for good governance and human rights including through partnerships to promote openness:
With South Africa, Tanzania, and five other countries, President Obama in 2011 launched the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative in which governments make concrete commitments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies.  The OGP has grown rapidly to include 64 countries, including Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Tunisia from Africa.  U.S. assistance amounting to approximately $16 million has helped Sierra Leone develop its first OGP National Action Plan with robust citizen engagement, and helped Tunisia become eligible to join OGP on the third anniversary of its revolution in January.  In Liberia, a $16 million multi-year program has helped Liberia implement its OGP commitments to transparency, accountability and citizen engagement.  The United States is also working with several private sector partners and associations to help build capacity to implement open data policies, develop legal and regulatory reforms, and improve accountability and public service delivery in African OGP member countries.
 Last year Mr Cameron said
Open governments backing open economies make for successful nations...the 4 big things that I think we need to do...First, we’ve got to get out there and really make the argument for open government..Second, we’ve got to translate words into deeds. We can’t just talk about open government, we’ve got to deliver..Third, in developed countries we’ve got to practice what we preach. When we talk about transparency elsewhere, we’ve got to show it at home too.. But there is one more thing. We’ve got to give our full-throated support for the groups that support and promote transparency, not least the Open Government Partnership. This is a truly exciting institution.
So two great opportunities this week for Australia, after much consideration, to announce shared values, support for democracy and good international citizenship means we are proud to stand with the US, UK and 61 other countries in the Open Government Partnership?

(Update: Ah nope: The AUSMIN communique runs to about 5500 words but no room for the OGP apparently. David Cameron squeezed in a phone call to the PM while away on holiday.)

Still hopeful....... 

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