Deauville Partnership With Arab Countries in Transition: Open Governance and Participation
G-8 Leaders met today at Camp David to carry forward the work of Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition, which was launched as a long-term, enduring partnership to respond to the historic changes in some of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. One year ago the G-8 launched the Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition to support the democratic transition and to strengthen governance, foster economic and social inclusion, create jobs, support private sector-led growth, and advance regional and global integration. Progress towards these objectives is more important than ever. The Partnership intends to deepen its focus on country-level engagement and has negotiated actions with the countries on open governance and participation.
In response to the needs and priorities signaled by these countries, the Partnership’s open governance/participation agenda will focus on initiatives designed to foster rule of law, enhance citizen confidence in democratic institutions and combat impunity, which are essential to attract investment, foster local economic development and job creation and combat corruption. These factors, in turn, will serve to maximize economic growth.
The open governance action plan builds upon the President’s leadership in the G-8 Summit and the Deauville Partnership. Over the next 12 months, the United States will partner with the G-8, Deauville Partner countries, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt to:
Foster Greater Civic Participation in Newly Democratic States
To meet local demands for greater civic participation, the Partnership is sponsoring an OECD initiative to help transition countries achieve eligibility into the Open Government Partnership (OGP). The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a diverse coalition of governments who have pledged to embrace a set of high-level open government principles, pledge country-specific commitments for putting the principles into practice and invite civil society organizations to assess their individual and collective progress going forward. More information about OGP can be found at www.opengovpartnership.org.
- To achieve this, transition governments will work to improve fiscal transparency, access to information, public disclosures related to elected or senior public officials and civic engagement. Jordan joined the OGP in 2012 at the OGP Summit in Brasilia and will launch its national action plan in 2013. Tunisia plans to join the OGP in 2013. Egypt, Libya and Morocco will initiate steps toward eligibility through a United States government-sponsored Open Governance Project being implemented by the OGP Steering Committee and the OECD.
Establish a Financial Services Advisory Corps (FSAC)
- Effective fiscal management will be key to mobilizing and targeting sparse government resources towards public investments that cultivate local economic development. In cooperation with the U.S. Domestic Finance for Development (DF4D) program, the Partnership will create a Financial Services Advisory Corps consisting of volunteer experts from the public and private sectors to provide technical assistance to help transition countries develop financial sectors that are strong, stable, transparent, and accessible. The G-8 will provide training for public employees and the private sector in transition countries through the implementation of training programs and technical assistance.
Set the Regulatory Framework to Prevent Corruption:
- Transition countries will pursue completion of UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) reviews in a participatory and transparent fashion; will implement international standards by pursuing the adoption or enhancement of systems for disclosure of assets of appropriate officials, whistleblower protection, and conflicts of interest, ensuring that they are consistent with international best practices and applied in practice; and will participate in regional anticorruption initiatives.
 Countries in the Partnership currently include the five Partnership countries (Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Morocco, and Libya), the G-8, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Turkey. The International Financial Institutions include the African Development Bank, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Arab Monetary Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, the OPEC Fund for International Development, and the World Bank. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is also a Partnership member.