UNsponsored forum looks at transparency in government

The sixth Global Forum on Reinventing Government brings together Government officials from around the world to discuss strategies for improving governance and building partnerships among governments, business and civil society. This year’s meeting is focusing on the importance of increasing transparency within the public sector and developing mechanisms that will enable and encourage greater participation.In a message to the forum, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said good governance – based on the rule of law and guided by the principles of participation, accountability and transparency – was vital for the rights of citizens to be protected and economic and social development to be advanced.”It depends on the State, civil society and the private sector working openly and cooperatively in order to be answerable to citizens,” he said, adding: “The State must provide leadership and set the framework for a sustainable, people-centred development. Each State which does so, and which cooperates with other States in doing so, is making a real contribution to the global effort to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”Echoing that idea, the Forum’s co-host, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic Affairs José Antonio Ocampo, told the nearly 5,000 participants representing 140 countries that transparent governance must play a central role in any country’s development agenda.”Participatory governance provides citizens with access not only to information, but also to decision-making and power,” he said. “It means access not only for a privileged few, but for all, including those who are still too often excluded from the benefits of development, particularly the poor and minorities.” read more