Obama Launches Open Government Partnership

Posted September 20th, 2011 at 6:40 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama has told a forum in New York that open societies, economies and governments make the “strongest foundation for human progress.”

The U.S. president spoke Tuesday at the United Nations to inaugurate a new international Open Government Partnership.

There are eight founding members in the partnership, including Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa, the Philippines, and co-chairs the United States and Brazil. All eight have pledged to be more transparent, allow greater citizen participation in government, and increase access to technology.

Mr. Obama said the moment is ripe for the initiative, with people across the Middle East and North Africa pushing for their governments to represent and benefit their citizens, and with emerging democracies across the world showing how “innovations in open government” can increase prosperity and justice. He said an additional 40 countries have begun working toward joining the partnership next year.

The U.S. leader said that as part of this promise, the U.S. will launch a new online tool that will allow Americans to petition the White House directly. He said they also will make the technology available to other governments.