This week sees the Open Government Partnership (OGP) summit taking place in Tallinn, and with events already underway at the time of writing, a declaration has been issued by the partnership's steering committee, recapitulating Estonia's commitment to the principle.
The OGP Steering Committee took the opportunity to declare the Tallinn Commitment, which renews its dedication to OGP and the values and principles enshrined in the Open Government Declaration, the government office says.
The Tallinn OGP summit taking place today, Wednesday, and tomorrow, primarily at the Telliskivi Creative City (Loomelinnak)
Speaking ahead of the event, State Secretary Taimar Peterkop, who co-chairs the steering committee, said: " With the Tallinn Commitment, we dedicate our efforts to raising collective ambition to implement transformative open government reforms and to inspiring others to do the same."
"To achieve this, we are launching the Open Government Challenge - an invitation to all OGP partnership members - to effect tangible progress in open government principles, focusing on pivotal policy objectives during the next five years," Peterkop went on.
"These include transformative actions in areas such as access to information, anti-corruption measures, civic space expansion, climate and environment initiatives, digital governance, fiscal openness, gender equity, justice reforms, media freedom, and public participation," the state secretary added.
The OGP Steering Committee is being led by the Republic of Estonia as represented by State Secretary Peterkop, together with Anabel Cruz, Founder-Director of the Institute for Communication and Development in Uruguay.
"By joining forces, by sharing our experiences and holding each other accountable, we can learn from each other. And we can make our democracies more open and transparent, and demonstrate clearly that there is no better system of government in the world." - @SecBlinken https://t.co/ARn2YffzvL— USEmbassyTallinn (@USEmbTallinn) September 6, 2023
The committee says it sees open government approaches as essential for strengthening democracies and delivering better outcomes for people. The committee believes that OGP is a valuable platform in addressing important challenges facing our countries, including a shrinking civic space, a widening economic inequality, and the intensifying effects of climate change.
In addition to launching the Open Government Challenge, the Steering Committee is also committed to expanding and protecting civic space and will take action to improve the enabling environment for civil society, and to protect freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association.
The committee says it will also provide strong high-level support for the open government agenda, and partner with like-minded organizations and institutions to advance open government.
Anabel Cruz said: "The most important thing is that the Tallinn Commitment touches on the most important areas included in the new OGP strategy. It is a practical, concrete way of expressing ourselves about the moment we are living globally, reaffirming our commitment to fostering transparency, inclusivity, and accountability in governance."
Taimar Peterkop added that: "We encourage all OGP members and the wider open government community to share successes and lessons learned, so we can inspire each other, find opportunities for collaboration, and make OGP a home of open government learning and expertise."
The Steering Committee also issued a declaration of solidarity with the people of Ukraine and the efforts of government and civil society in that country, who continue to advance open government reforms, in the face of extreme adversity.
The OGP summit runs September 6-7 and on its second day also features a panel discussion with the prime minister, Kaja Kallas, and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) director Samantha Power.
Editor: Andrew Whyte