Open government partnership crucial for SDGs

September 21, 2017

Kathmandu: There is urgent need of high-level cooperation and coordination among the broader stakeholders including CSOs to achieve the desired results in line with the SDG targets, particularly in developing countries like Nepal.

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) basically underpins the principles of access to information, civic participation, accounting public institutions and technological innovations and serves as an important support pillar for Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The core values of the OGP directly contribute to develop effective and accountable institutions – which is also the crux of Goal 16 of the global agenda for transformation.

The Goal number 16 promotes peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, offer access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Specifically, the goal 16.10 is to ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms in accordance with national legislation and international agreements. The emphasis of both the initiatives is to increase the availability of information on government activities and deepen civic participation.

As a member state of the United Nations, Nepal had participated in the UN General Assembly and endorsed the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development in 2015. Since it came into effect in January 2016 Nepal government has aligned its development plans and programmes accordingly. However, to the date, Nepal has not joined OGP despite having met its eligibility criteria. A taskforce formed by the government under the leadership of Chief Information Commissioner at the National Information Commission had recommended the government to take the required initiative to be part of the movement. Nevertheless, the government has failed to meet the requirement so far.

At an interaction ‘Open Government Partnership: Status and Way Forward’ organized by the parliamentary committee with assistance from the UNDP’s Parliament Support Unit, UNDP Deputy Country Director Sophie Kemkhadze said as OGP can be a support pillar to leverage strengths for achieving Sustainable Development Goals, Nepal can benefit from the global movement to create sustainable and resilient society. Likewise, most of the speakers stressed that the country should reinforce its official commitment to take ahead the agenda of open governance which they also said would enable environment for implementing SDGs.

It is high time for Nepal to take wise decision to be the part of global movement for the cause in a way to ensure better implementation of SDGs. It may be strategic for Nepal to reinforce its commitments for broader governance reforms being the part of OGP and reap its benefits for championing implementation of global agenda for transformation.

Source: Kathmandu Tribune