CSOs Urge OGP to Address Preserving Civic Space

5 May 2014

A statement by 183 representatives of civil society organizations from 31 Asia Pacific countries gathered May 4 in Bali for the Open Government Partnership regional summit highlights three issues.

 The statement first emphasizes “the importance and need for establishing, expanding and consolidating civic space.” It says, In some democratic states, civil society space has been declined or severely restricted.”

This topic was on the agenda for the OGP Steering Committee May 4-5. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) The Criteria and Standards subcommittee has recommended how such complaints can be lodged and what steps the OGP will take in reaction. While suspension or expulsion are possible, the proposed system emphasizes OGP engagement with the criticized government.

The outcome in not yet publicly known, but FreedomInfo.org learned that the proposed “rapid response” mechanism was agreed on in principle pending a legal review of the language and further input from a couple of countries.

 The CSO statement also calls for “the formulation of the post 2015 agenda including sustainable development goals and the fundamental needs to incorporate good governance.”

Third, the statement says, there is a need for OGP “to establish and maintain civil society participation mechanism and standard for compliance with OGP’s values.”

The two-page text of the statement elaborates on the three points.






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