Workshop on Open Government Partnership held on 4-5 April in Colombo
In October 2015, Sri Lanka became the first country in South Asia to join the Open Government Partnership, at its Conference held in Mexico.
On the 4th and 5th of April, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Open Government Partnership, held a Workshop for Government Institutions as well as Civil Society Organisations at the BMICH. The Workshop focused on creating awareness about the Open Government Partnership, formulating National Action Plans, sharing experiences of other countries in the Partnership, the conduct of Government and Civil Society consultations in formulating National Action Plans and the implementation of commitments in the National Action Plans.
The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Harsha de Silva, participated in the inauguration of the Workshop on 4 April. His remarks at the inaugural session are attached/ appended below.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
6 April 2016
Statement by Hon. Harsha De Silva, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs
at the Inauguration of the Open Government Partnership Workshop
BMICH, 4th April 2016
It is indeed a pleasure for me to inaugurate the Open Government Partnership workshop, here in Colombo today.
On behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, it is my pleasure and privilege to reiterate Sri Lanka’s firm commitment to the core principles of open government and we are proud to be the first Country in South Asia to have signed up to the Open Government Partnership.
Let me reflect on how we got to this point today, so that it can guide us during the working sessions tomorrow.
It is the sovereign people of Sri Lanka, who, at two successive elections last year, in both January and also in August 2015, rejected authoritarian and corrupt governance and choose good governance and democracy. A slide by Sri Lanka into authoritarian, corrupt and dictatorial governance was reversed. However, the election of January 2015, was only a start, and even as much remains and needs to be done, the most important task is for the gains and the new direction chosen in 2015, to be institutionalised and made irreversible.
This is where the Open Government Partnership comes in.
Firstly, the Government of President Maithriapala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, recognises, values and indeed appreciates the crucial role played by civil society in bringing about the democratic revolution of 2015. Accordingly, the OGP initiative is not only a means of institutionalising good governance but it is also the framework or platform for a formal engagement with civil society on governance, reforms and government accountability.