The Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG) recently held The Bahamas’ first Good Governance Symposium. The event hosted members of the government, civil society, private sector and students in a day of panels and discussions under the theme, “The Culture of Governance in The Bahamas”.
Leaders from across the country shared their perspectives on topics such as Public Service Reform; Increasing the role of women and youth in governance, and Citizen Participation and the United States Embassy hosted a special panel on Anti-corruption strategies with international experts. The Good Governance Symposium, which attracted nearly 600 participants, was held as a blended event with limited by-invitation in-person attendance and a virtual event for wider public participation.
Loretta R. Butler-Turner, former Opposition Leader, underscored that the event was extremely successful in presenting topical, informed discussions that addressed wide spectrums of discussion by national and international panellists. “Good Governance is not simply about political parties and their agendas. Good Governance impacts every aspect of life and the positive qualities that improve society and the lives of its citizens.
“Society works best when citizens are assured that their voices are important contributors to the national discourse and decisions in creating an environment for responsible governance. ORG has successfully presented an inclusionary platform for the advocacy and expansion of Responsible Governance.”
ORG’s Good Governance Symposium, funded by The Templeton Religion Trust, was designed to bring together all sectors of The Bahamas to discuss and promote practices and a culture of “good governance” for positive and sustainable national development. The Symposium’s panel discussions reinforced the eight principles of good governance including Accountability, Transparency, Rule of Law, Responsiveness, Equity and Inclusiveness, Effectiveness and Efficiency, Participation and Being Consensus Oriented.
David Forbes, Chief Clerk of the House of Assembly, echoed Butler-Turner’s remarks, adding, “The Good Governance Symposium was a great event and great step in the right direction in bringing the discussion forward.”