By JADE RUSSELL
LOCAL officials of the Organisation for Responsible Governance have attended the IX Summit of the Americas.
ORG contributed to the 2022 theme of “Building a Sustainable, Resilient and Equitable Future”.
The Organisation of American States (OAS) hosted the Summit in Los Angeles, California, with civil society representatives from across the Western Hemisphere.
ORG’s executive director, Matt Albury, focused on the importance of communication between the public and government.
He said: “A key objective for citizen equity and participation in The Bahamas and the region is how to change heavily political cultures to create inclusive and accessible environments where citizen’s criticism or dissent is valued and utilised toward national development.”
During the four-day forum, ORG joined in numerous roundtable discussions and provided a Bahamian perspective. The forum aided in ORG giving suggestions on how to reinforce democratic governance and digital transformation.
ORG has developed a Citizen’s Charter in The Bahamas used to facilitate information with communities on accessible and effective government services. Mr Albury noted government officials are interested in ORG’s Charter model as a tool to strengthen government services.
ORG also spoke on anti-corruption in the Americas during an international roundtable. The discussion included civil society leaders such as Prime Minister Pierre from St Lucia; United States Ambassador to the United Nations, President Castillo from Peru, Thomas-Greenfield; Ambassador to the OAS and officials from Paraguay, Uruguay, El Salvador and Chile.
Mr Albury added that many countries in the region struggle with similar issues as The Bahamas. However, the executive director said The Bahamas can learn from these countries to help in developing solutions.
The Civil Society Forum highlighted the importance of education, transparency, and adapting solutions based on the country itself in order to prevent corruption.