Sat, Dec 3, 2016 | updated 05:55 AM IST

Lanka becomes first South Asian nation to join OGP

Updated: Oct 30, 2016 16:48 IST

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Oct. 30 (ANI): Sri Lanka has become South Asia's first member of the Open Government Partnership as it formally joined the 70-nation Open Government Partnership (OGP) following an invitation from the group.

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe in a letter to the co-chairs of the OGP said Sri Lanka meets the eligibility criteria for participation in the OGP and is strongly committed to its objectives as set out in the OGP Declaration, reports the Colombo Page.

"The OGP's goals and principles are in line with the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to transparency, openness and good governance," he wrote in the letter.

Open Government Partnership (OGP), which was formally launched in 2011, is a unique multilateral initiative aimed at securing concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to make governments more open, effective and accountable to citizens around the world.

It brings the governments and civil society together on a single platform to pursue good governance goals including, most importantly, anti-corruption.

Last month, Sri Lanka's first OGP National Action Plan formulated through a process of wide consultations was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

The plan includes measurable commitments in areas of health, education, information and communication technology, environment, local government, anti-corruption, the Right to Information and women's issues.

The first ever OGP National Action Plan was released by the government for the two-year period from 2015-2017 affirming commitments to promote transparency, accountability and public participation ( TAP) in the thematic areas of health, education, information and communication technology, environment, anti-corruption, local government, right to information and women's issues.

The National Steering Committee will be headed by the President to monitor the ambitious open government partnership. (ANI)