International Relations: Open Government Partnership Global Summit
At the invitation of the Mexican Senate, through the National Democratic Institute (NDI) the President of the Pan African Parliament, H.E Roger Nkodo Dang attended the Open Government Partnership Global Summit as a guest of the Mexican Government from the 27th to the 29th October 2015.He was accompanied by Hon. Nassirou Amadou and Head of International Relations and Cooperation at the PAP- Mrs. Lyn. Chiwandamira.
The Summit included a track on legislative openness, organized primarily by the co-chairs of the Working Group. In addition the conference included panel discussions on civil society partnerships for open parliament, normative standards for parliamentary openness and ethics, and a regional panel focused on open parliament in the Americas. The main topics included:
- Open Parliament Action Plans: From Idea to Implementation
- Engaging Legislatures More Deeply in OGP: Recent Developments
- Building Civil Society Partnerships to Open Parliaments
- Normative Standards for Parliamentary Openness, Ethics and Lobbying
- Efforts toward Parliamentary Openness Reform in the Americas
The President of the PAP was part of a panel group which discussed “Developments in Open Parliament”. The panel discussion was moderated by the co-chairs of the Legislative Openness Working Group and hosted by the President of the Senate of Mexico, Sen. Roberto Gil Zuarth. This high-level session allowed parliamentary and civil society leadership from around the globe to share information about experiences and challenges in implementing commitments to parliamentary openness. The session included the following individuals:
●Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang, President of the Pan African Parliament (Cameroon)
●Sen. Roberto Gil Zuarth, President of the Senate of Mexico
● Sen. Hernán Larraín, Chair of the Bicameral Commission on Transparency of the Congress of
Chile and Co Chair of the LOWG
● Mr. Ken Wollack, President of the National Democratic Institute and Co-Chair of the LOWG
● Hon. Ayanda Dlodlo , Deputy Minister for Public Service and Administration, South Africa and Co-Chair, OGP Steering Committee
● Hon. Gordana Comic, Deputy Speaker, National Assembly of Serbia
● Ms. Haydeé Pérez, Executive Director of Fundar (Mexico)
● Ms. Vuka Crnjanski, Director of Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (Serbia)
In his presentation the PAP President highlighted the numerous challenges faced by the continent in terms of energy and power, infrastructure development, social services, trade, food deficits and illicit flows of financial resources. He pointed out that if Africa utilises its resources, its growth will be faster than what it is currently achieving. Corruption is one of the key challenges and results in the widening of the poverty gap between the Haves and Have nots. The President pointed out that the objectives of the OGPs are similar to those of the PAP which seek to deepen democracy and improve governance at the national, regional and continental levels.
Whilst in Mexico, the President of the PAP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Democratic Institute (NDI). The NDI will support the PAP to develop capacity in the areas of research, training, gender, youth participation, good governance, human rights, and the rule of law.