Georgia Becomes OGP Chair Print Version

2017-09-20

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For the first time in history, Georgia becomes Chair of OGP, an organization bringing together 75 countries. Today, Geogrian Prme Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili officially suceeded French President Emmanuel Macron as OGP Chair for a one-year tenure.

During a high-level event in New York, under the 72nd UN General Assembly Session, Giorgi Kvirikashvili emphasized that Georgia takes great pride in chairing OGP and contributing to the work of this most powerful global movement for openness and deeper democracies.

"I am deeply honored and privileged to be among the hosts of this important gathering, speaking to you today, as an incoming Chair of the most powerful global movement for openness and deeper democracies.

Throughout our OGP journey we have partnered with many of you. We have followed good practices or shared our success stories with different stakeholders. I am thrilled to witness the results of the OGP countries, illustrating across the globe openness of people to control their governments and willingness of people to control their governments. And yet, we have many lessons to learn - not only from each other or from civil society organizations, but from entrepreneurs, journalists, startups, etc., who have knowledge of details that matter the most to achieve excellence in good governance," the Prime Minister said.

The Head of Government also pointed out the topic of the meeting, Rebuilding Trust in Governance, adding that this task requires a prudent long-term strategy.

"I encourage all of you to use this time for exchange, debate and collective reflection on how democracy can be reinvented. I would like to express our commitment to continue efforts of France to strengthen OGP," the Prime Minister stated and thanked France, the organization's previous Chair, and personally President Macron, for their efforts to bring together every partner for strengthening open governance and tackle different challenges.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili also spoke of the priorities of Georgia's Chairmanship and emphasized that, in the process of formulating its vision, the Georgian Government was guided by questions like: What are the specific steps we will take to broaden the focus from open data and open budgets to the Sustainable Development Goals, anticorruption and service delivery, which directly affect the lives of ordinary citizens? How do we dominate focus on closing the feedback loop?

"In the modern times, when innovation and technology have become leading pathways to success in the global economy, the definition of open governance has expanded. While advocating for enlarging the scenario we aim to dedicate our co-chair term to strengthen the basics of open government-to ensure people's opportunity to influence government decisions that affect their daily lives," the Prime Minister underlined.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili emphasized that the Georgian Government is committed to pursuing four key goals: strengthening co-creation and citizen engagement, advancing transparency and the fight against corruption, generating innovation in public service delivery, and building a better partnership within OGP.

"Goal 1: this approach led to shaping one of the goals aiming to strengthen the co-creation and citizen engagement. Practice shows that civic engagement, in most cases, is key to successful reforms that address the needs of the public, while on the other hand, leaving civil society outside the conversation damages democracy. Hence, it will be the co-chairs' priority to ensure peer learning of successful experiences and promote innovations for further improvement.

We also aim to propose concrete ways to advance reforms at the global, national and sub-national levels in transparency and anti-corruption, and this is exactly what Goal 2 means for us. Anti-corruption reforms continue to be the top priority for the Government of Georgia as part of the overarching goal to enhance the functional democracy upholding principles of transparency, accountability, and the rule of law in the country. Georgia has a solid track record of combating corruption and creating institutionalized mechanisms for anti-corruption policy coordination and monitoring.

Goal 3: we have also set a goal to promote innovation in public service delivery. Georgia has gone through rapid transformation, with notable success. Our reform priorities include ensuring unimpeded and efficient access to public services even for those living in remote villages. These efforts bring public administration closer to citizens through the production of services more tailored to the needs of users. Experience shows that improving the design and quality of public services, coupled with efforts to foster public participation through closing the feedback loop, is a process that enables government to build a bridge connecting each and every citizen. We are willing to work with OGP countries to generate new ideas and take the public service delivery to the level that better responds to our citizens' needs.
Goal 4, regarding our goal to build a better partnership we all come from different starting points and might have different priorities. However, strengthening the OGP is a common interest that should especially unite us," the Prime Minister said.

According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, OGP stands at a turning point, and everyone should assume responsibility to position OGP as a powerful global movement for achieving openness and deeper democracy and as a countervailing force against the closing of civic space and distrust in government.
"As we communicate the key values of OGP, let's emphasize the importance of inclusive approach to governance as an indicator of success in achieving openness.
Georgia prides itself to be among the few countries where all branches of the government are involved in the OGP process.

We strongly believe that a comprehensive approach at the national level has defined Georgia's overall country performance in various directions. Hence, with the aim to foster the broadening of collective ownership of OGP domestically, we aim to encourage OGP participating countries to raise the bar of openness at the judicial, parliamentary and sub-national levels.
I thank all countries for trusting us to serve as the Chair of the partnership and stand ready to dedicate all our resources to make our tenure a success. I believe that in the era of globalization success cannot be achieved without global partnerships and mutual support," the Prime Minister of Georgia stated.

French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated the Head of Georgian Government on OGP Chairmanship and wished him success.

Prime Minister's Press Office