Reports from the Open Government Partnership Asia-Pacific Regional Meetings

Two consecutive Open Government Partnership (OGP) events were recently held in Bali, the first of their kind to be hosted in the Asia-Pacific region. Both events attracted substantial global interest with many countries represented from well beyond Asia-Pacific boundaries.

Fuimaono Tuiasau at OGP Meeting Bali

TINZ Board Member Fuimaono Tuiasau at OGP Meeting Bali

TINZ was represented by Fuimaono Tuiasau at the two-day (May 4-5) Civil Society Organisation conference took place in the Ibis Hotel, Nusa Dua.

The second event, A general OGP conference held at the Nusa Dua Convention Centre (May 6-7). TINZ was represented at the OGP conference by Fuimaono Tuiasau and Dr. Michael Macaulay. Also in attendance was a New Zealand public service delegation headed by Hon. Peter Dunne, who addressed the conference on the theme of legislative openness (his speech can be accessed at beehive.govt.nz).

Day one of the conference set the scene with an opening address by the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who spoke of the country’s chairing of the OGP. He was followed by a number of speakers who emphasized not only the need for transparency and openness but the importance of governments listening to their people, and encouraging active participation (opening sessions on YouTube).

Michael Macaulay Speaking at OGP Bali

TINZ's Dr. Michael Macaulay Speaking at OGP Bali

On day two, a number of breakout workshops and lightning talks put some meat on these bones and showed real-life examples of collaborations between governments (national, regional and local) and CSOs to create meaningful and lasting partnerships. Gordon Davis (SSC) and Michael Macaulay co-presented a paper at a session on social accountability and it was notable that during questions members of the audience were visibly impressed by the access that TINZ has to policy makers. The final plenary saw perspectives from CSOs, youth movements, business, academia, and other sectors (watch it on YouTube).

It is clear that New Zealand continues to be held in the highest regard in the Asia-Pacific region, and with the OGP Action Plan yet to emerge there is much to gain, but more to lose, in not grasping the opportunity to take a leading role in the OGP agenda. TINZ has already played a significant role in shaping the Action Plan and it will be interesting to see what emerges in the weeks to come.


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