Ladies and gentleman, I am delighted be here on behalf of the United Kingdom to mark our cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, UNDP and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in this “Be Responsible” project. And I’m pleased for a number of reasons:
We as the UK are committed to providing practical support to go alongside our continued political support for Montenegro’s reform path towards EU and NATO membership, especially in enhancing the rule of law
We are always pleased to be working alongside committed partners in UNDP, the Ministry of Finance and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering
This is an award winning project – it was shortlisted for OGP prize at the annual summit in London last year, and just won US prize for public sector communications
And this is because it is an excellent project – it has demonstrated its worth already not only in the huge numbers of people it has engaged, but also in the funds it has generated for social causes; and because it makes real the idea that building a more prosperous Montenegro, developing its economy and society, is a shared job, a shared responsibility for all – for those within public institutions, for those in the private sector, and for each and every citizen.
The principles of openness, transparency and active citizen engagement are creating exciting challenges across the world, as UK and Montenegrin Ministers discussed at the Open Government Partnership Summit hosted in London last year, and where this project was recognised. One of the highlights from this summit was that a key priority is not just engaging citizens, but empowering them - transforming the relationship between people and their governments; driving transparency and strengthening democracy. Encouraging this active citizenship boosts entrepreneurship, growth and accountability – a virtuous circle.
We have a unique moment in history to drive this forward, as the rapid pace of technological change is transforming what is possible. In the UK, our open platform “data.gov.uk” has generated many innovative ideas, inspiring solutions to public problems and generating efficiencies previously unidentified. And we enjoy myriad gadgets and tools to help us do this – the internet, smart phones, apps, data analysis software, cameras the size of a credit card…
But we shouldn’t forget that these tools facilitate change – the change itself doesn’t happen without people. And from the expertise, energy and engagement we’ve seen in this project so far, we are excited about what it can achieve, and the further innovations it will inspire – encouraging us all to be engaged, to be good corporate citizens and social citizens, to be the change we want to see in the world, to be responsible.