The power is in our hands

I write this post for every single member of civil society.

We are in this together. No matter what you would call the scenario we are in at the moment, be it turmoil, or chaos, or the breaking of the new dawn, of the winds of change are a-blowing. No matter if you’re siding with Pakatan Rakyat, or Barisan Nasional, or merely fence-sitting.

We have to acknowledge that the media is not as independent or as free as it should be. They need to conform to an endless array of laws and rules on what they can write, and what they cannot write. The laws in place, such as the Sedition Act, and the PPPA are laws that suppress the meaning of a free press. This is why we have created a Memorandum on Media Freedom.

We also have to acknowledge that the judiciary is not as independent as it should be. The selection and promotion of judges are not done transparently. The Seperation of Powers Doctrine states that the Judiciary should be independent of influence from both the Executive and the Legislative. But what we are experiencing now is not the case. This is why we have created a petition to the Agong about the state of the Judiciary.

Even if you’re a Barisan Nasional supporter, you need to understand that supporting BN doesn’t mean that they can do no wrong. Supporting them also means that you tell them what you think they’re doing wrong, and what they should change.

Even if you’re a Pakatan Rakyat supporter, you need to understand that there is no such thing as “everything will be well and fine once PR takes to office”. Your voices must still be heard. They must still know that these things are important to us.

Even if you’re a fence-sitter, you need to know that signing these petitions for Media Freedom and an Independent Judiciary doesn’t automatically make you an opposition supporter. You are merely exercising your right to express what you think is right.

People say that signing petitions always come to naught. So they don’t sign. But let’s just imagine for a moment what it would be like if all of us were to put cynicism and skepticism behind. Imagine a petition signed by 22 million people. Would that not carry an impact? Would the authorities not have to sit up and pay attention? Would they not have to take action?

This is what we call People Power. People Power doesn’t always have to come in forms of street protests or bloodshed. People Power can be as simple as all of us uniting as one voice to let the authorities know that this is what concerns us.

Don’t turn away when asked to sign a petition on something that you care about. If you care, and if you want to voice your concern, lend your voice to us. Your signature, your name, one minute of your time, could mean everything.

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9 Comments on “The power is in our hands”

  1. James Lai says:

    Keep up the good work. Malaysians have been in the dark for years as the country is looted and raped by our so-called leaders and their cronies.

    It’s high time we reclaim the country for the rakyat.

  2. aman chong says:

    i love your post. it’s simple, yet a good, fine mixture of style and substances.
    I’m looking forward to your thoughts on malaysian politics scenario. 😉
    __________
    Thanks. Do come back.

  3. clearwater says:

    I only wish my children were more politically aware and less self absorbed, just a little more like you and less of the ‘instant mee’ generation.

  4. keep up the good work at least now we have a venue to voice our concerns/grievances

  5. joeawk says:

    Right on, we can belong to any party but we shall not blindly support the party.

    We have to speak up, speak up for justice, for goodness.

  6. JOECOOL says:

    Yes…I’ve always agreed that we need to send a petition to the Agong…I’m all for it!!…..but we need to walk in the thousands hand in hand to the palace..for pure impact!!…or else the local media will just pretend that nothing happened. Lets DO IT dear bothers & sisters !!..we must MAKE A STAND for justice and truth…or else we are no worse than Pontious Pilate!!

  7. Truth Seeker says:

    We the Rakyat, should promote awareness of what Good Leadership & Good Governance is all about.

    Below are The Seven Basic Principles of Public Life …. and the Benchmark for Good Governance.

    PLEASE Pass these freely to those among us who care for the future of our beloved Country, MALAYSIA.

    ——————————————————————————–

    These are:

    Selflessness

    Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves, their family or their friends.

    Integrity

    Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.

    Objectivity

    In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

    Accountability

    Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

    Openness

    Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

    Honesty

    Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

    Leadership

    Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

    ——————————————————————————–

    What is good governance?

    The debate on the quality of governance has been clouded by a slew of slightly differing definitions and understanding of what is actually meant by the term. Typically, it is defined in terms of the mechanisms thought to be needed to promote it. For example, in various places, good governance has been associated with democracy and good civil rights, with transparency, with the rule of law, and with efficient public services.

    Good governance

    It is among other things participatory, transparent and accountable. It is also effective and equitable. And it promotes the rule of law. UNDP

    It “… encompasses the role of public authorities in establishing the environment in which economic operators function and in determining the distribution of benefits as well as the relationship between the ruler and the ruled. OECD (www.oecd.org/dac/)

    It is “… epitomized by predictable, open and enlightened policy making; a bureaucracy imbued with a professional ethos; an executive arm of government accountable for its actions; and a strong civil society participating in public affairs; and all behaving under the rule of law. World Bank 1994: Governance: The World Bank’s Experience.

    Mechanisms for assuring good governance have three key elements: Internal rules and restraints (for example, internal accounting and auditing systems, independence of the judiciary and the central bank, civil service and budgeting rules); Voice and partnership (for example, public-private deliberation councils, and service delivery surveys to solicit client feedback); and Competition (for example, competitive social service delivery, private participation in infrastructure, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, and outright privatization of certain market-driven activities). WDR 1997.

    In other cases, the definition of good governance goes further than mechanisms and proposes that good governance be equated with specific outcomes – in a Rawlsian sense of assuring that everyone, irrespective of social or economic status, has a voice in governing and receives just, fair, equitable treatment. For example, the UNDP notes that: Good governance is, among other things, participatory, transparent and accountable. It is also effective and equitable. And it promotes the rule of law. Good governance ensures that political, social and economic priorities are based on broad consensus in society and that the voices of the poorest and the most vulnerable are heard in decision-making over the allocation of development resources.”[1]

    In general, this initiative will take as a starting point the five dimensions of good governance that was developed in the World Bank’s Corruption study for Europe and Central Asia and contained in the Bank’s most recent update of its public sector strategy: public sector management, competitive private sector, structure of government, civil society participation and voice, and political accountability.[2] This definition goes well beyond effective delivery of public services (even if that is a benchmark indicator of the quality of governance, a lightning rod for public sentiments about government, and a useful starting point for assessing the quality of governance). And it can also go well beyond the notion of “economic governance” which is typically the focus of most World Bank work on governance.

    Of these dimensions, the most problematic for this work are those of civil society voice and participation and political accountability. However, the consensus of the team is that neither better public sector management nor a competitive private sector can be reliably and sustainably achieved without voice and accountability, especially in MNA countries which typically score low on measures of these indices.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Civil Society Essential Benchmarks for WSIS

    The essential benchmarks listed in this document reflect work in progress by the civil society content and themes group of the WSIS process. While there is consensus on the priorities stated here this document does not represent absolute consensus, nor does the order of the essential benchmarks constitute a strict ranking in order of importance. For more information on the WSIS CS CT group, contact: Sally Burch, Email : sburch@alainet.org

    1. Introduction

    The approach to the “Information Society” on which the WSIS has been based reflects, to a large extent, a narrow understanding in which ICTs means telecommunications and the Internet. This approach has marginalised key issues relating to the development potential inherent in the combination of knowledge and technology and thus conflicts with the broader development mandate given in UNGA Resolution 56/183.

    Civil society is committed to a people-centred, inclusive approach based on respect for human rights principles and development priorities. We believe these principles and priorities should be embedded throughout the WSIS Declaration of Principles and Action Plan. This paper sets out the benchmarks against which civil society will assess the outcomes of the WSIS process and the commitment of all stakeholders to achieving its mandate.

    2. Human rights

    The WSIS Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action, should take as their foundations the international human rights framework. This implies the full integration, concrete application and enforcement of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including labour rights, the right to development, as well as the principle of non-discrimination. The universality, indivisibility, interrelatedness and interdependence of all human rights should be clearly recognized, together with their centrality to democracy and the rule of law.

    All Principles of the Declaration and all activities in the Action Plan, should be in full compliance with international human rights standards, which should prevail over national legislative frameworks. The “information society” must not result in any discrimination or deprivation of human rights resulting from the acts or omissions of governments or of non-state actors under their jurisdictions. Any restriction on the use of ICTs must pursue a legitimate aim under international law, be prescribed by law, be strictly proportionate to such an aim, and be necessary in a democratic society.

    Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is of fundamental and specific importance to the information society, requiring that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    3. Poverty reduction and the Right to Development

    Given the unequal distribution of wealth among and within nations, the struggle against poverty should be the top priority on the agenda of the World Summit on the Information Society. It is not possible to achieve sustainable development by embracing new communication technologies without challenging existing inequalities.

    Civil society organisations from different parts of the world unite in their call to governments to take this matter very seriously. We want to emphasise that challenging poverty requires more than setting of ‘development agendas’. It requires the commitment of significant financial and other resources, linked with social and digital solidarity, channeled through existing and new financing mechanisms that are managed transparently and inclusively of all sectors of society.

    4. Sustainable development

    An equitable Information Society must be shaped by the needs of people and communities and based on sustainable economic, social development and democratic principles, including the Millennium Development Goals.

    Only development that embraces the principles of social justice and gender equality can be said to centrally address fundamental social, cultural and economic divides. Market-based development solutions often fail to address more deep-rooted and persistent inequalities in and between countries of the North and South.

    Democratic and sustainable development of in the information society can therefore not be left solely to market forces and the propagation of technology. In order to balance commercial objectives with legitimate social interests, recognition should be given to the need for responsibility of the public sector, appropriate regulation and development of public services, and the principle of equitable and affordable access to services.

    People and communities must be empowered to develop their own solutions within the information society, in particular to fight poverty and to participate in development through fully democratic processes that allow community access to and participation in decision-making.

    5. Social Justice

    5.1 Gender Equality

    An equitable and inclusive Information Society must be based on gender justice and be particularly guided by the interpretation of principles of gender equality, non-discrimination and women’s empowerment as contained in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the CEDAW Convention. The Action Plan must demonstrate a strong commitment to an intersectional approach to redressing discrimination resulting from unequal power relations at all levels of society. To empower girls and women throughout their life cycle, as shapers and leaders of society, gender responsive educational programs and appropriate learning environments need to be promoted. Gender analysis and the development of both quantitative and qualitative indicators in measuring gender equality through an extensive and integrated national system of monitoring and evaluation are “musts”.

    5.2 Disability

    Specific needs and requirements of all stakeholders, including those with disabilities, must be considered in ICT development. Accessibility and inclusiveness of ICTs is best done at an early stage of design, development and production, so that the Information Society is to become the society for all, at minimum cost.

    5.3 Labour rights

    Essential human rights, such as privacy, freedom of expression, and the right of trade unions to communicate with employees, should be respected in the workplace. ICTs are progressively changing our way of working and the creation of a secure, safe and healthy working environment , appropriate to the utilisation of ICTs, respecting core labour standards, is fundamental. ICTs should be used to promote awareness of, respect for and enforcement of universal human rights standards and core labor standards.

    5.4 Indigenous Peoples

    The evolution of the Information Society must be founded on the respect and promotion of the recognition of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and their distinctiveness as outlined in the ILO Convention 169 and the UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. They have fundamental rights to protect, preserve and strengthen their own identity and cultural diversity. ICT’s should be used to support and promote the rights and means of Indigenous Peoples to benefit fully and with priority from their cultural, intellectual and so-called natural resources.

    6. Literacy, Education and Research

    Literacy and free universal access to education is a key principle. All initiatives must embrace this principle and respond to needs of all. Knowledge societies require an informed and educated citizenry. Capacity building needs to include skills to use ICTs, media and information literacy, and the skills needed for active citizenship including the ability to find, appraise, use and create information and technology. Approaches that are local, horizontal, gender-responsive and socially-driven and mediated should be prioritised. A combination of traditional and new media as well as open access to knowledge and information should be encouraged.

    7. Cultural and linguistic diversity

    Communications media and information technologies have a particularly important role to play in sustaining and developing the world’s cultures and languages. The implementation of this principle requires support for a plurality of means of information and communication and respect for cultural and linguistic diversity, as outlined in UNESCO’s Declaration on Cultural Diversity.

    8. Access and Infrastructure

    Global universal access to communication and information should be a target of the WSIS action plan and the expansion of the global information infrastructure should be based on principles of equality and partnership and guided by rules of fair competition and regulation at both national and international levels. The integration of access, infrastructure and training of the citizenry and the generation of local content, in a framework of social networks and clear public or private policies, is a key basis for the development of egalitarian and inclusive information societies. The evolution of policy should be coordinated internationally but enable a diversity of appropriate solutions based on national and regional input and international sharing of information and resources. This should be people-centered and process-orientated, rather than technologically determined and expert dominated.

    9. Governance and enabling environment

    9.1 Democratic governance

    Good governance in a democratic society implies openness, transparency, accountability, and compliance with the rule of law. Respect for these principles is needed to enforce the right to take part in the conduct of public affairs. Public access to information produced or maintained by governments should be enforced, ensuring that the information is timely, complete and accessible in a format and language the public can understand. This also applies to access to information produced or maintained by corporations where this relates to activities affecting the public interest.

    Media

    While allowing for government information services to communicate their message, state-controlled media at the national level should be transformed into editorially independent public service media organisations and/or privatised. Efforts which encourage pluralism and diversity of media ownership must be encouraged to avoid excessive media concentration

    9.3 Community media

    Community media, that is media which are independent, community-driven and civil-society based, have a specific and crucial role to play in enabling access and participation for all to the information society, especially the poorest and most marginalised communities. Community media should be supported and promoted. Governments should assure that legal frameworks for community media are non-discriminatory and provide for equitable allocation of frequencies through transparent and accountable mechanisms.

    9.4 Internet governance

    The global governance of ICT must be based on the values of open participation, inclusiveness, transparency, and democratic accountability. It should establish and support universal participation in addressing new international policy and technical issues raised by the Internet and ICT. No single body and no single stakeholder group is able to manage all of the issues alone. Many stakeholders, cooperating in strict accordance with widely supported rules and procedures, must define the global agenda.

    The non-government sector has played a historically critical role in Internet Governance, and this must be recognized. The strength of the Internet as an open non-Government platform should be reinforced, with an explicit and stronger role for Civil Society. The role of Governments should be no greater than that of any other stakeholder group.

    10. Public Domain of Global Knowledge

    10.1 Limited intellectual monopolies

    Human knowledge, including the knowledge of all peoples and communities, also those who are remote and excluded, is the heritage of all humankind and the reservoir from which new knowledge is created. A rich public domain is essential to inclusive information societies. Limited intellectual monopolies, such as copyrights or patents, are granted only for the benefit of society, most notably to encourage creativity and innovation. The benchmark against which they must be reviewed and adjusted regularly is how well they fulfill their purpose.

    10.2 Free Software

    Software is the cultural technique of the digital age and access to it determines who may participate in a digital world. Free Software with its freedoms of use for any purpose, studying, modification and redistribution is an essential building block for an empowering, sustainable and inclusive information society. No software model should be forbidden or negatively regulated, but Free Software should be promoted for its unique social, educational, scientific, political and economic benefits and opportunities.

    10.3 Access to information in the public domain

    Today, more than 80% of mankind has no access to the reservoir of human knowledge that is the public domain and from which our new knowledge is created. Their intellectual power remains uninitialized and consequently unused, lost to all humankind. The reservoir of human knowledge must be made equally available to all in online and offline media by means of Free Documentation, public libraries and other initiatives to disseminate information.

    10.4 Open access to scientific information

    Free scientific information is a requirement for sustainable development. Science is the source of the technological development that empowers the Information Society, including the World Wide Web. In the best tradition of science, scientific authors donate their work to humankind and therefore, it must be equally available to all, on the Web, in online Open Access journals and online Open Archives.

    11. Security and privacy

    11.1 Integrity and security

    Definitions of criminal and terrorist purposes in existing and emerging policies and legislation are ambiguous and prevent the use of information resources for legitimate purposes. The legitimate need for infrastructure integrity must avoid shift to the highly politicized agenda characterized by language referring to the integrity of the military field and the use of information resources for criminal and terrorist purposes.

    11.2 Right to privacy

    The right to privacy should be affirmed in the context of the information society. It must be defended in public spaces, online, offline, at home and in the workplace. Every person must have the right to decide freely whether and in what manner he or she wants to receive information and communicate with others. The possibility of communicating anonymously must be ensured for everyone. The collection, retention, use and disclosure of personal data, no matter by whom, should remain under the control of the individual concerned. The power of the private sector and governments over personal data, including monitoring and surveillance, increases the risk of abuse, and must be kept to a minimum under clearly specified, legal conditions.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Regional IIAS Conference on Transparency for Good Governance
    17 July 2006
    Monterrey, Mexico
    Speech by Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, OECD

    It gives me great pleasure to take part in this important Conference and in this connection I am grateful to the International Institute of Administrative Sciences, the National Institute of Public Administration and the Government of the State of Nuevo León for having been kind enough to invite me.

    The subject that has brought us together is, moreover, fascinating. We are faced with the major challenge of our generation in all its dimensions: good governance in order to find solutions to common challenges. Governance in the context of the nation state but also governance in the international arena.

    The link between governance and transparency appears to be faithfully reflected in the objectives of this conference given that transparency is a prerequisite for bolstering governmental efficiency, enhancing the design of public policies and promoting trust in governments. To the extent that democratic governments favour transparency, there is a concomitant free flow of information not only about government policies but their implementation and rationale. This is a beneficial dynamic that flows in two directions. Governments are obliged to inform but they are also under obligation to listen and use the information that is generated in different sectors in order to evaluate their own performance and the success or failure of their policies. In the last resort, what matters is accountability regarding what should in theory be the core functions of government: in other words, the goal is to facilitate optimal economic and social performance to benefit the governed.

    In addition, transparency favours the adoption of public policies that are far more credible and effective. In submitting them to an open and pluralist evaluation process, with trustworthy performance indicators, these policies become richer and can have a greater impact or be reformulated in accordance with their results. The design of efficient policies is a subject that is particularly interesting for the OECD given that our main function is to support our member countries as they seek to identify best practices with regard to public policies. As a result, the OECD has come to be identified as “the home of best practices”. Our task is based precisely on the
    exchange of information and experience among policymakers in various sectors, based on comparable indicators that are internationally trusted.

    Transparency is also a mechanism that ensures general trust in the government. This is especially important at a time when all over the world this trust would appear to be at a low ebb even in cases in which there is a concern to have “open governments” in place. It is therefore of paramount importance to redouble our efforts in order to demonstrate that what the government does is important and that it does it in the best manner. The culture of transparency helps to promote this message and also contributes to strengthening the institutional development that has been identified as one of the central ingredients of economic development.

    Cases of corruption in the governmental sphere go a long way to explaining the fall in
    confidence on the part of citizens. It is precisely for this reason that transparency is a fundamental tool in avoiding the emergence of such incidents. As Benjamin Franklin remarked, transparency is “the most effective corruption deterrent”. A lack of transparency merely fuels inappropriate conduct, especially when it goes hand-in-hand with an indiscriminate use of power. Greater transparency, as reflected in greater information about public expenditure, administrative simplification or public employment provides a long-term strategy that can help to fend off corruption by weakening its roots.

    The foregoing considerations have highlighted the factors that account for why we need greater transparency in the exercise of governance. Now I would like to set about discussing the ways that have been selected by the OECD countries to strengthen this transparency, underlining the fact that there is more than one way to achieve this goal. Building a culture of transparency is the result of a long learning curve. Successful transparency policies require a combination of legal frameworks, effective mechanisms for implementation and control, and a supportive environment
    in both the private and the public sector as well as in society at large.

    Transparency also has different historical phases given that it is a continuous process. While it is the case that in Sweden legislation about access to information was adopted two centuries ago, most OECD members have only gained access over the last 15 years. As of now, 29 OECD countries are equipped with this legal framework. At the same time, a number of independent institutions have also sprung up, such as the higher Audit Authorities or Ombudsmen. At present, 27 countries of the OECD can point to the existence of watchdog agencies of this type which principally seek to guarantee access to information.

    A particularly important factor in the promotion of transparency is ensuring the
    participation of some important stakeholders. Among these, the parliament/congress are guarantors of the efficient functioning of transparency mechanisms. By the same token, the media plays a vital role. In a system of checks and balances, the media, through investigative journalism, can play a crucial part in publicizing both good practices and malfeasance.

    Finally, technological advances have led to the creation of more effective bridges to help establish contact with citizens. Countries are exploring how best they can harness the benefits of information technology so as to live up to the expectations of a technological society. In fact, these technologies maximize potential for transparency and innovation. The application of the ICTs has generated important cultural change, particularly in sensitive areas such as tax administration,
    public works concessions and governmental procurement.

    These are ostensibly abstract issues; however, in order to achieve efficient and consistent performance, great political leadership is required. Leaders who have pursued its implementation know that by investing in transparency they are guaranteed valuable input and crucial new ideas in the public policy sphere when making decisions and building up public trust, increasing the quality
    of democracy and bolstering civic capacity.

    In any case, the path for changing the culture of transparency is long and ever-changing. And maintaining the culture of transparency is a permanent challenge for all countries. It calls for continuous investment of scarce public resources in order to ensure that public information is complete, objective, trustworthy, relevant and easy to understand. A case in point is that even though Sweden adopted free access to information two centuries ago, the government still had to launch a campaign in 2001 because “transparency is something that should be learnt by each and every one of us”.

    I would now like to take a look at a number of studies and analyses which have been
    carried out by the OECD with regard to good governance. We are talking here especially about the development of best practices, courses of action and principles to strengthen good governance, whether public or private. Some examples of this include:

    • The OECD Best Practices for Budget Transparency. These best practices seek to
    support countries in their efforts to evaluate and improve their budgetary information
    systems.

    • Guidelines for the management of conflicts of interest in the public sector. These
    were approved in 2003 and provide the first comprehensive international benchmark
    for supporting governments in their endeavours to revise and modernize their policies
    for managing conflicts of interest with the participation of the private sector and civil society.

    • OECD Principles on Corporate Governance. These were approved in 2004 and
    include recommendations about transparency in the interest of promoting good
    practices in corporate behaviour the better to rebuild and maintain public confidence
    in companies and stock markets. The revised principles promote transparency and the disclosure of information as well as the adoption of controls to prevent conflicts of interest.

    • Parastatal Companies. The principles are also applied to parastatals given that in
    many countries these are a key sector in which political interference in day-to-day
    operations should be avoided. The principles establish transparent objectives for
    companies in this field which need to be carried out by accountable and transparent
    governing bodies.

    The OECD also promotes international dialogue on transparency, extending beyond its members countries. For example, the OECD launched an initiative to generate dialogue with the Organization of American States to develop a framework of integrity that would support the development of preventive mechanisms in the context of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

    The OECD is one more ally in the promotion of transparency in the governments of
    member and non-member countries. As I noted earlier, the goal is to achieve transparency so as to generate greater trust in public matters, transparency to promote better policies and, in a word, transparency to achieve governmental objectives so as to improve the living conditions of the population. This is the ultimate objective and good governance is one of the most important tools
    for achieving this.

    In this connection, there is an additional contribution that the culture of transparency can make to underpin effective governance. The task of exchanging and providing information about governmental decisions and public policies tends to bolster them purely by exposure to feedback from citizens. At the same time, citizens can contribute to their success by taking ownership of these policies and lending them their public support. This is particularly important in the context of
    structural reform.

    In many countries we have witnessed the difficulties involved in pursuing efforts to adopt the necessary reforms to ensure that economic growth rests on sound foundations. Now it is not only necessary to have serious and rigorous policy planning but also negotiation and persuasion of the various stakeholders to facilitate the approval of reform. And many times this involves challenging different vested interests of well-organized groups that are resistant to change. In this context, actions taken by citizens that are well-informed and aware of all the issues at stake can be a decisive factor. And it is the case that a government that provides information and puts the options on the table can be an invaluable source of support and thereby create a virtuous circle to facilitate the attainment of progress for our economies.

    The OECD has taken a keen interest in supporting member countries in their attempts to achieve progress in structural reform. This is not only an important mandate which has been conferred upon us by the Ministers of the member countries but also a cornerstone in the agenda of public policies of our member countries. Our mission is to promote maximum economic growth and to this end the restructuring and modernization of different sectors is often necessary. Seeking the support of citizens and public opinion for structural reforms is also part of the Organization’s
    agenda.

    Transparency and good governance thereby acquire additional importance by becoming prerequisites for making headway in addressing the challenges of economic growth. If this is significant for advanced countries in the OECD, it is especially vital for countries like Mexico, or developing countries. As a result I am delighted to share with you the results of our analysis. I hope that this will provide helpful input for discussions conducted in the course of this conference and I further hope that the experiences of the different participants will result in the development
    of some proposals that will help address our common challenges.

    Many thanks.

    ——————————————————————————–


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