Uncategorised 7th November 2018

Wrap up: Asia Pacific Regional Conference Seoul

by Peter Timmins

From (international) OGP Support Unit

Seoul, South Korea – November 6, 2018

For the past two days, over one thousand reformers in government and civil society from more than fifty countries met in Seoul for the 2018 Open Government Partnership (OGP) Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting.  During the meeting they shared experiences and best practices, to ensure that participatory democracy and better governance lead to a better life for all.

The over twenty sessions, workshops, and  meetings offered an opportunity for attendees to develop solutions  to collectively tackle the challenges , including corruption and threats to t civic space.

CEO of OGP Sanjay Pradhan expressed his gratitude to the Government of the Republic Korea for hosting this year’s Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting and asked reformers to advance ambitious open government initiatives in the region. “ From Seoul to Yerevan and from Islamabad to Manila, citizens are pushing back, demanding that their voices – and all voices – be heard. courageous, committed reformers and engaged citizens are joining forces to find ways to chart a brighter, more hopeful course, even in challenging environments – a course of reinvigorating democracy between and beyond elections.

Ten countries and three local governments in the region have delivered or are currently finalizing new OGP action plans. Some of the most promising commitments include improving health and education in Mongolia and Indonesia. Fighting corruption in Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. Advancing the rights of women and girls and persons with disabilities in Sri Lanka. Moving from simply disclosing information to engaging citizens in policy-making in New Zealand and South Korea.

Minister of the Interior and Safety of the Republic of Korea Kim Boo-kyum stated “Government innovation is a prerequisite for open government which many countries including the Republic of Korea have pursued. I hope that the 2018 Open Government Partnership Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting held in Seoul strengthens the open government movement and expand the efforts to drive government innovation at the international level.”

During the closing ceremony, the Government of Canada called on governments and civil society to convene in Ottawa, Canada in May 2019 for the Sixth OGP Global Summit, focused on advancing inclusion, strengthening citizen participation, and catalyze impact.

In line with values and goals of next year’s Summit, OGP announced an open call for gender research to advance gender equality and to help identify ways to accelerate gender commitments and women’s participation throughout OGP.

OGP also released the dates for second edition of Open Government Week, a global call to action for anyone who believes citizens should play a role in government decision-making. Aimed at advancing gender equality and inclusion around the world, Open Gov Weeks will feature seminars, hackathons, public debates, webinars, open dataset releases and other events planned by citizens, civil society and governments. Catch up with the latest updates through #OpenGovWeek.