Opening Session of the Conference: Challenges of Transparency and Openness for Governments in the Arab Region: Regional Initiatives and Programs that Promote Good Governance Practices.

Aug 7, 2022

11:10 - 11:50 am

 

On Friday morning, July 22, 2022, the session was opened by the facilitator Asma Sharifi, Chief Executive Officer of the TACID Network in Tunisia, and introduced the speakers to the audience via Zoom application, namely, Alessandro Bellantoni, Head of the Section of the Open Government Unit of the Organization for Economic Co_operation and Development (OECD) - Italy, and Cheria Basu, Deputy Director of Asia and Pacific Region - in Open Government Partnership (OGP) - Singapore.

 

“Iraq is not a member of (OECD)” Alessandro said in response to the question of the facilitator of the session, adding that in 2014 the organization established the OECD MENA project, and this project is supporting both sides of the economy and Open Government. There is a team work on the side of supporting the open government, and Iraq is part of it.

 

He mentioned that the organization and the Middle East and North African countries are working in this team to promote Open Government, and the organization defines the Open Government as a culture of governance that promotes the principles of transparency, integrity, accountability and democracy support.

 

Cheria pointed out that the Program of the Open Government Partnership is an attempt to involve all parties through the government's pledge to deal with citizens and Organizations Civil Society with transparency and involve them in formulate public policies.

 

She added that Iraq needs the participation of all parties, from the government and organizations civil society, and work on bringing the point of views closer and to reduce the differences among them.

 

Then Asma asked Mustafa Sabah, Director of Technology Solutions and the National Data Management - National Data Center - Iraq. How the applications that launched by the government can be effective and close to the citizen?

 

Mustafa answered that the National Data Center is working on establishing “Ur Platform for Open Data”, which is a project that is still in progress and writing policy for it. He added that the project needs to a data classification because the Iraqi ministries own this data, but it is not shared with the citizen. He pointed out that “We need an international support, especially the organizations that participated in the conference, can help to classify this data and formulate policy to the open government.

 

Finally, the facilitator Asma asked both Alessandro and Cheria: is it possible for international organizations to support Iraq to promote the open government?

 

The speakers expressed that their organizations are ready to support the Iraqi government with everything it needs, only if it is more effective, serious, and ready for real change.