First published on Blogwatch.ph
At the official launch of Open Government Partnership (OGP) early this week, some critical issues were not brought out in the open.
On Tuesday, President Benigno Aquino III joined 45 other world leaders in New York for the launch of OGP, touted as a multilateral initiative that supposedly aims to secure commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies.
The OGP in its declaration committed to 1) increase the availability of information about government activities 2) support civic participitation 3) increase access to new technologies for openness and accountability.
“We commit to espouse these principles in our international engagement, and work to foster a global culture of open government that empowers and delivers for citizens, and advances the ideals of open and participatory 21st century government,” the OGP said in its declaration endorsed by eight countries as of Sept. 20, 2011.
Examining the list of participants, it would become clear that the OGP event was just another proxy gathering of global elites. Government representatives joined in the event some of the largest foundations and multilateral organizations, including the World Wide Web Foundation, USAID and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The list even included a “civic hacker” from the Transparency Hackers Community.
Of course, no one from Wikileaks was invited at the OGP launch.
The Philippines, together with eight other countries, comprise the OGP steering committee which is chaired by US President Barack Obama and co-chaired by Brazil President Dilma Rousseff.
Ironically, the US government – which has been largely secretive of its Big Brother operations through its embassies in many countries as revealed by Wikileaks – is leading the initiative. And so it comes as no surprise why no one in the event dared to make any reference to Wikileaks despite much talk about transparency and information sharing. Everyone, including President Aquino, preferred to talk about Washington’s version of transparency.