As part of her recent trip to Brazil, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to co-chair the First Annual High-Level Meeting of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Launched in September 2011 by Presidents Obama and Rousseff, OGP formally welcomed 42 new countries into the Partnership and announced concrete commitments to prevent corruption, promote transparency, and harness new technologies to empower citizens.
A fact sheet on OGP states that since its inception, it has become a “global community of government reformers, civil society leaders, and business innovators, who together are advancing a new standard of good governance in the 21st Century.”
In her opening statement, Clinton said, “In the 21st century, the United States is convinced that one of the most significant divisions among nations will not be north/south, east/west, religious, or any other category so much as whether they are open or closed societies. We believe that countries with open governments, open economies, and open societies will increasingly flourish. They will become more prosperous, healthier, more secure, and more peaceful…By contrast, those governments that hide from public view and dismiss the idea of openness and the aspirations of their people for greater freedom will find it increasingly difficult to maintain peace and security. “
To demonstrate how OGP is already making good on its commitments, Clinton pointed to Chile, Estonia, Jordan, and Tanzania—all of which have a joined a host of other countries in making public data available to citizens on everything from crime statistics to local budgets and procurement through new websites.
The State Department is estimating that nearly 1.8 billion people will benefit from the commitments reached at the first meeting.