This morning, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped open the first annual meeting of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Brasilia, Brazil. The two-day conference brings together representatives from 73 countries to create a “global ethos of transparency and accountability.” The vision of Open Government includes promoting transparency, empowering citizens, fighting corruption, and strengthening governance. Brazil, which has served as co-chair OGP with the United States for the past year, has a strong advocate for Open Government in President Dilma Rousseff. Secretary Clinton said in her speech of President Rousseff:
“So we now have a chance to set a new global standard for good governance and to strengthen a global ethos of transparency and accountability. And there is no better partner to have started this effort and to be leading it than Brazil, and in particular, President Rousseff. Her commitment to openness, transparency, her fight against corruption is setting a global standard. So the United States is proud to be co-chairing with Brazil, and we intend to do all we can to help make the Open Government Partnership a leader in ensuring that the 21st century is an era of openness, transparency, accountability, freedom, democracy, and results for people everywhere.”
Secretary Clinton’s speech outlined the United States’ position that “countries with open governments, open economies, and open societies will increasingly flourish. They will become more prosperous, healthier, more secure, and more peaceful.” She charged the country representatives at Brasilia to meet the challenge of openness, and to hold themselves accountable to the principles of open development.
In today’s opening meetings in Brasilia, Tanzania took its seat on the OGP steering committee. Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete used real world examples to explain how the principals of open government can change the lives of mothers in developing countries. President Kikwete said, “To a pregnant woman open government needs to be about the safe delivery of her baby.”
The OGP meetings in Brasilia will continue tomorrow, and the conversation about open government will continue long after that. Check out this blog post to see how you can join the conversation, and remember to follow #OGPBrasilia2012, #OGP2012, @OpenGovPart and ONE’s acting European policy director @AlanHudson1 on Twitter.