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Open Societies

"In democracies, respecting rights isn’t a choice leaders make day-by-day, it is the reason they govern."

“When a government hides its work from public view, hands out jobs and money to political cronies, administers unequal justice, looks away as corrupt bureaucrats and businessmen enrich themselves at the people’s expense, that government is failing its citizens,” stated U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the opening of the multi-country Open Government Partnership (OGP) Forum last week.

— Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Promoting freedom and democracy and protecting human rights around the world are central to U.S. foreign policy. The values captured in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in other global and regional commitments are consistent with the values upon which the United States was founded centuries ago. The United States supports those persons who long to live in freedom and under democratic governments that protect universally accepted human rights. The United States uses a wide range of tools to advance a freedom agenda, including bilateral diplomacy, multilateral engagement, foreign assistance, reporting and public outreach, and economic sanctions. The United States is committed to working with democratic partners, international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, and engaged citizens to support those seeking freedom.

In this section called Open Societies, you’ll find links to stories that underscore the value of free expression, accountable governments, transparency, access to information and the internet and cultural exchange – many things the Iranian government has expressed deep concerns about.  We think you should see alternative viewpoints and make up your own mind.

As the Secretary has said, “Across the Middle East today, we see people calling on governments to be more open, more accountable, more responsive. They want a stronger voice in their own affairs. They want to be treated fairly and with dignity."