A year after the end of the July-August 2006 war on Lebanon and the beginning of the reconstruction process, the Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA) held a press conference at the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon (CCIABML) to launch its campaign "Transparency and Integrity in Post-War Reconstruction and Compensations".
The press conference was attended by Mr. Ghazi Koreitem, Chairman of the CCIABML, Mr. Wajih Al Bizri, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce- Beirut, as well as representatives of both the private and public sectors, media, and civil society activists.
The press conference began with an introduction by Mr. Fadi Saab, Coordinator of the Economic Support Unit of the CCIABML, who after having welcomed the present audience, has pointed out the effectiveness of the government in encouraging international support to Lebanon's reconstruction mainly through the Stockholm Conference and the Paris III meeting. Mr. Saab however highlighted, that despite these efforts and reform programs developed by the government, a lot still needs to be achieved. Issues at the practical level encumber the achievement of all planned objectives. It is thus necessary that Lebanese citizens agree on and are convinced of the importance of transparency, accountability, and integrity in reconstruction projects, not only to fight corruption, but also to attract more aid and investment to the country. Mr. Saab concluded his speech by inviting Lebanese citizens to claim their right for access to information that will lead to more transparency and efficiency in the public sector.
Mr. Mohammad F. Mattar, Chairman of LTA, emphasized his speech on LTA's campaign and explained details pertaining to the rationale, objectives, and necessity behind it. Mr. Mattar pointed out that civil society is a cornerstone for launching such initiatives, and reminded the audience of the key role of civil society organizations in relief activities during the 34-days war in 2006. Furthermore, Mr. Mattar presented the activities in the framework of the campaign which among others include: a hotline, evaluation reports on the reconstruction of 6 bridges, and a petition on behalf of the Lebanese citizens requesting transparency in reconstruction and access to information. Mr. Mattar highlighted that the petition can also be accessed and signed online on LTA's website: www.transparency-lebanon.org. Finally, Mr. Mattar requested from all parties to cooperate for the success of this initiative and invited them to come together in a national coalition for integrity.
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