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Published on Sunday, 24 February 2013 19:14
President Thein Sein has decided to join the Open Government Partnership (OGP) by 2016, Francis Maude, UK Minister for the Cabinet Office told reporters on Thursday in Yangon.
The president made the commitment after Mr Maude, also the co-chair of the OGP, invited Myanmar to join the OGP.
Mr Maude described Thein Sein's decision to join the OGP as a courageous move but he stressed the need for the government to have its budgetary transparency and for top officials to declare their assets.
Mr Maude visited Myanmar from 19 to 21 February. During the stay, he met cabinet ministers and ethnic group representatives and Aung San Suu Kyi, Lower House MP and chairperson of the opposition National League for Democracy in Nay Pyi Taw.
The membership of OGP requires media freedom and free access to information, data and facts.
A country could benefit from being a member of OGP and it could help eliminate corruption in the country. Moreover, people would be able to know where government was spending its budgets, Mr Maude said.
Britain will host the annual summit of the Open Government Partnership in October this year, and those countries that have applied for membership will be invited as observers, he said.
The OGP was formed in September 2011, as an international organisation to help promote transparency between government organisations.
Since the Thein Sein government took office in March 2011, Myanmar has made a series of political reforms such as releases of political prisoners. To support the reform effort, western countries including the United States and the European Union eased sanctions against Myanmar.