The Jakarta Post
Civil society organizations (CSO) in the Asia Pacific have created a communiquÃ© to urge governments of Open Government Partnership (OGP) country members to implement the principles of open government.
In their joint communiquÃ©, the 153 organizations stressed the importance and need to establish, expand and consolidate civic space.
They also urged the OGP to establish and maintain civil society participation mechanisms and standards in compliance with OGP values, as well as the inclusion of good governance in the formulation of the post-2015 agenda toward sustainable development.
They also agreed that OGP leaders should claim their legitimate space in the decision-making process and oversee its implementation in member countries.
During a press conference on Monday to announce the communiquÃ©, representatives of the organizations shared similar views that many OGP country members had yet to embrace the full extent of partnership in advocating OGP values at country level.
They said the poor quality of participation resulted in a low impact from country commitments for their people.
Dadang Trisasongko, secretary- general of Transparency International Indonesia, said that in the context of Indonesia, open government was the goal of the reform movement.
'As the current chairman, Indonesia should be more advanced than other countries in the implementation of OGP principles,' he said.
Ahmad Faisol, executive director of MediaLink, said that the OGP initiative had yet to significantly push the implementation of open governance, as proven by the experience of several countries in the region.
'Experiences shared by our fellow CSO members in the Asia Pacific demonstrate that OGP has yet to be able to guarantee good access to information and public services. As an example, in Indonesia, the Public Information Law and Public Service Law has yet to be implemented properly,' he said.
Paul Maassen, coordinator of the CSO, urged governments of OGP country members to provide access for greater public participation. 'The governments cannot successfully implement the principles of openness without embracing the public.'
Judy Taing, program officer for the Asia region for Article 19, an international NGO, said Indonesia had to encourage the region toward implementing the principles of open government that adhered to four key values: transparency, accountability, participation and innovation.
'Indonesia should continue to be a champion to promote transparency and accountability in this region,' she stated.
The communiquÃ© will be read during the plenary session of the two-day OGP regional conference on Tuesday and Wednesday in Nusa Dua, which will be opened by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
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