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Will the World Cup and Olympics bring more corruption to Brazil?

By Sophie Amelia Mendes from the IACC team, and Stella Borzilo, from the Americas department, at Transparency International.

For a few days every year since 2001, dozens of people marching through the towns and villages of the arid Brazilian North East. These are the people who are speaking out against corruption in Brazil, taking part in the March against Corruption organised by the “Popular Force-Task” (in Portuguese: Força-Tarefa Popular), a group who coordinate society to take action against corruption. More than a hundred people take part in the walk, which can be up to 350km in distance and the size and length of the March demonstrates how passionate the anti-corruption movement in Brazil is.  Read more »

Quote of the Day

Here are some of the inspiring quotes from the 14th IACC. If they move you to find out more about each session, just click on the links to explore further.

Leadership forum

View the short report here

“Asia must embrace the principle of inclusive growth, brining more people into the circle of opportunity that growth and development provides”
Haruhiko Kuroda, President of the Asian Development Bank

“Without civil society and without the people, from the grassroots up, anti-corruption agencies will not be able to operate efficiently.”
Juree Vichit-Vadakan, Secretary General, Transparency Thailand

Corruption, Peace and Security

Read the plenary transcript here

Read the short report here

“Corruption fuels many of today’s gravest risks to security, from nuclear proliferation, to terrorism, to organized crime”
Melinda Crane, Deutsche Welle

“There is simply no alternative… to a really coordinated international effort based on cooperation; to enforce international mechanisms; to provide financial, institutional support when its needed; and of course it was to promote an anti-corruption culture, based on integrity and accountability.”
Gareth Evans, President Emeritus of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group

“We need to create development policies, combat corruption and combat organized crime, from a human rights perspective, in which we take into account the dignity of individuals, their autonomy and their rights.”
Magdalena Sepulveda, Independent Expert on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty for the Office of the UN High Commission of Human Rights; Director of Research, International Council on Human Rights Policy

“Customs could be a leading showcase for good governance because of its critical role in facilitating trade, a viable source of poverty reduction in line with the Millennium Development Goals. Also it plays a critical role in protecting society at borders.”
Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO)

Fuelling Transparency & Accountability in the Natural Resources & Energy Markets Plenary

View the plenary transcript here

Read the short report here

“Transparency is an absolutely critical component of maximizing the long-term economic benefit for the resource-producing country.”
Karin Lissakers, Director General, Revenue Watch Institute

“Most of my experience has been with real people on the ground, the village housewife of third world countries, the farmer, the fisherperson. And these are the people that face the actual cutting edge of corruption.”
Arvind Ganesan, Director, Business and Human Rights, Human Rights Watch

“The important thing is to maintain a consensus between the magical triangle as I call it, of government, civil society and private sector, at every level.”
Peter Eigen, Chairman of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

“There has to be strong enforcement. In order for that to happen, you need what is called political will, and in order for political will to happen, you need strong public opinion.”
Ashok Khosla – President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature

Climate Governance: Ensuring a Collective Commitment Plenary

Read the plenary transcript here

Read the long report here

“When one considers climate governance, one must address both the national and international levels. At national level climate finance must be applied in a way which respects and promotes the full enjoyment of human rights.”
Iruthisham Adam, Ambassador /Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations Offices at Geneva & WTO

“We need to invest in building local civil society to be able to hold institutions accountable”
Manish Bapna, Managing Director, World Resources Institute

“It’s essential that we move away from this industrial paradigm and put in a system where the 1.6 billion people that depend in some degree or other on the world’s forests have a major role in the reform and benefit directly from the funding that comes from it.”
Patrick Alley, Founder and Director, Global Witness

“We need strong whistleblower protections at all levels where climate finance is taking place.”
Daphne Whysham, Fellow and Board Member, Institute for Policy Studies

Strengthening Global Action for an Accountable Corporate World

Read plenary transcript here

Read the short report here

“It’s the intersection between private and public that …corruption notoriously does most of its dirty work. It’s also in this public stroke private space that the fight against corruption can usefully be waged.”
Timothy Large, Thomson Reuters Foundation

“The next task is pulling together good public procurement, good public integrity programmes, good corporate education, corporate audits along with a good domestic and foreign anti-bribery programme.”
Richard Boucher Deputy Secretary General, Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development

“In voluntary compliance, the society… works together and puts a core value that surrounds itself on the basis of integrity and transparency; people voluntary comply with what is considered right.”
Minister Idris Jala Minister in the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office

“Corruption lurks in shadows and behind closed doors and across borders. Capital and money moves much more easily internationally than evidence does”
Mark F. Mendelsohn Former Deputy Chief, U.S Department of Justice

“Corruption is not as yet entrenched in most African countries: as such there’s still the opportunity to bring about effective reforms and perhaps entrench anti-corruption policies and initiatives into the fabric of African countries.”
Mary Boakye, SNR Denton, Africa Financial Markets group head

Video: What are participants going to do after they reach back home?

What are participants going to do after they reach back home to fight against corruption?

Journalists are channels to fight corruption

An empowered media empowers a powerless society.

For using so much of the word power in the statement above, I am sure it would be edited out in our editorial office.

But corruption is really about power and the power to take from.

Last night was the integrity awards night. It was a showcase of the bold, the mean and the dead. Bold because you have to really stand up for your rights to make change. Mean because you cannot be heard if you speak softly. Lastly, dead because they will be on to you until you are silenced.

Journalists are channels of citizens to a democratic, peaceful society that adheres to human rights. The decision a journalist make in releasing information – whatever the information is, to the public affects the choices the society make that eventually affect their lives. It also aids – whenever used sufficiently, politicians make decisions in the government for public.

It is indeed inspiring to note that one of the awardees of the Transparency International’s Integrity Award winners is a journalist. More so it was even overwhelming that most of the people attending the conference strongly believe in what journalists do.

But this blog post is not about a pat in the back on us journalists.

After participants gave their affirmation of their support for journalists, the speaker asked who believes that journalists should stop what they are doing… I saw one bold hand rise.

I am not here to point a finger nor malign the personality of the guy who raised his hand but this became a realization for me that of the 1167 participants of the conference, still 1 or 0.086% had a different view.

On a crazy arithmetic, the .086% of the world population, 6.88 billion according to the US Census Bureau, it may be translated that about 5 million persons do not believe in what journalists do. Whew! That’s a big number to defend from. No wonder journalists get killed.

Oftentimes, it is the love for the craft that journalists give their dedication. It is because they adhere to deliver truthful information to the society. It is because they want transparency. The only wealth journalists acquire is to see the society live the way it wants to be.

By being agents of transparency and truthful information, journalists help the society fight corruption. But, it should be a conscious effort of the society to make a stand in the fight.

From the show of hands, I am inspired.

Empower the media, empower the world.


Quote of the Day. Day 3

Corruption is the noun of action from the Latin word “corrumper”, which means to perish, ruin, destroy.

Judge Joachim Eckert, Presiding Judge Penal Court Munich, Germany

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