Parliaments Play Crucial Role in Realizing OGP Values – Lower House Speaker –

Parliaments play a crucial role in achieving the objectives and values of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), Speaker of the House of Representatives Rachid Talbi El Alami said on Wednesday in Marrakech. “Parliaments are called upon to adopt the necessary legislation to achieve these objectives, to exercise oversight over the Governments within the framework of the Open Government Partnership, as well as to submit public policies on the values and philosophy of open government to parliamentary evaluation,” Talbi El Alami noted in an address read on his behalf by the 1st Vice-Speaker of the House of Representatives Mohamed Sabbari at the opening of the “Parliamentary Day”, a major event organized as part of the OGP Africa and Middle East Regional Meeting. Legislative institutions must first and foremost set an example to society in terms of transparency, declaration of assets in addition to avoid conflicts of interest, he said, adding that parliaments are also called to be close and responsive to society, and advocate a model of openness to citizens, including through civil society organizations, which can promote citizen initiatives in the context of participatory democracy. In this sense, Talbi El Alami said that the values of voluntarism, honesty and confidence in the potential of Africa are catalysts for the mobilization of African civil society in its achievements in the areas of development solidarity, environment, awareness, equality between women and men and human rights. “As parliaments, we must take into account these noble civic roles and strive to establish productive partnerships with civil society,” he argued, noting that the Open Government Partnership initiative offers valuable opportunities for such partnerships, especially in terms of co-creating parliamentary commitments under this international mechanism. For his part, the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Duarte Pacheco highlighted the importance of this large-scale meeting that brings together Speakers and members of African parliaments, as well as representatives of governments and civil society organizations, driven by the same will and showing a common commitment to dialogue and parliamentary cooperation. In this sense, he emphasized the key role of parliaments in achieving the objectives of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), which aims to ensure a strong and effective partnership between the public sector and civil society, based on the idea that open government improves the relationship between citizens and their government, enabling the state to be more accessible, responsive and accountable to them. In a statement to M24, MAP’s 24-hour television news channel, Pacheco noted that holding this meeting in the Kingdom “testifies to Morocco’s prominent place at the international scene,” praising the “strong” democracy and freedom of expression and association that prevail in Morocco. The Kingdom has “a strong civil society driven by the desire to participate and offer its contributions to politicians in order to build an increasingly strong democracy,” Pacheco said.