Building strong, accountable and transparent institutions is key to a successful transition for Egypt and Tunisia
Transparency International (TI), the global anti-corruption organisation, strongly supports the people in Egypt and Tunisia working to build new democracies based on transparency, integrity and accountability, free from corruption.
Today the change of regimes brings great opportunities to stop the corruption that plagued the daily lives of ordinary people.
“Freedom from corruption is a basic human right. We support the pro-accountability voices within the countries who want to build governments that work transparently to guarantee this right,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of TI.
TI believes that countries need governments that operate transparently and free from corruption. In addition they also need independent oversight institutions and a vibrant civil society, which have been lacking in both Egypt and Tunisia, to develop strong democracies and restore trust.
In 2010 TI published a study of the national integrity system of Egypt, which described the key government and non-governmental institutions. It found that Egypt’s previous government showed a lack of commitment to implementing effective anti-corruption measures, despite the fact that Egypt has ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which provides a strong legal framework for fighting corruption in both the public and private sector.
“An open civil society helps hold governments to account and plays an important role in building back trust because it represents the views of all people, including minorities and the marginalised, to their leaders,” said Labelle.
A first step in restoring trust is to hold accountable those who benefitted illegally from positions of power.
In keeping with the TI Bangkok Declaration of last November, TI is now calling on governments in countries that might be home to stolen assets to take action to both stop illicit money from entering their countries and to freeze, investigate, and, if found to be illicitly transferred, put the funds in escrow and then repatriate them.
“The time to act is now. There has not been enough done to return to their rightful owners the wealth illicitly accumulated by corrupt leaders from anywhere in the world,” said Akere Muna, vice-chair of TI.
TI supports the pro-accountability movements in both Tunisia and Egypt and their efforts to build the transparent and accountable institutions that can ensure a peaceful transition to democracy.
“The uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt stunned the world but they should not have; history clearly shows that demands for greater accountability and an end to corruption cannot be silenced,” said Labelle.
Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption
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