TRANSPARENCY is a key principle in governing a country, Slovak Prime Minister Iveta
Radičová and US President Barack Obama agreed during a personal meeting between the two
leaders in New York City on September 20.
Radičová and Obama met personally before a forum of the Open Government Partnership
which the prime minister participated in as a part of her week-long trip to the United States.
Radičová also attended a Global Investment Symposium called “Road to Prosperity”
organised by the International Economic Alliance, an NGO; met with representatives from
the Friends of Slovakia association; and participated in the 66th plenary session of the
United Nations General Assembly. Radičová was also asked to give a lecture at New York
University’s school of social research about the eurozone debt crisis and the future of the
common monetary union.
President Obama said he appreciated the steps taken by Radičová’s cabinet in bringing greater
transparency to the government.
“We are proud of you,” Obama said, as quoted in a press statement released by Slovakia’s
Radičová said that more transparency is only one of the challenges facing the governments
of Slovakia and the United States, adding that reducing high levels of unemployment and
taking effective measures in both the US and the eurozone to prevent serious damage from a
potential second-wave economic crisis.
The meeting of the Open Government Partnership was the first high-level assembly
of representatives from countries which are participating in this initiative, focused on
international cooperation in areas such as transparency, government responsibility, citizens’
engagement and fighting corruption. The partnership was established by the US, Brazil,
Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom and several non-
governmental organisations. Another 38 countries, including Slovakia, formally joined the
partnership at the forum in New York City.
As a member of the partnership, the Slovak government will design an action plan by March
2012 that will bind the country to pass further reforms to increase transparency in public
administration, fight corruption and cronyism, and widen the scope of public control, the
Government Office stated. Slovakia will formally present its plan at the second session of the
Open Government Initiative that will be held in Brazil next year.
“The Open Government Partnership is an absolutely natural and welcome initiative for me,
fully in accord with the programme statement of the government and the steps we have
taken up to now – for example, establishing the central registry of [government] contracts,”
Radičová stated, adding that by participating in the initiative Slovakia will be better able to
compare itself against other countries.
21. Sep 2011 at 18:00 | Michaela Terenzani