Expressing alarm over continued democratic backsliding around the world, Transparency International’s 2021 Annual Membership Meeting resolves to rise against the erosion of the rule of law in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Democracy has been one of the victims of the pandemic,” reads the resolution adopted today by the movement. Transparency International representatives have noted that governments from around the world continue to abuse executive powers and curtail civic freedoms under the guise of the public health emergency.
In that vein, the membership’s second resolution calls on governments to respect and promote fundamental rights and freedoms in their efforts to fight corruption. Noting that the abuse of human rights undermines the sustainability of anti-corruption reforms, members declare that the fight against corruption is incompatible with the abuse and neglect of fundamental human rights. Transparency International is also urging governments to fight corruption as a means to counter human rights abuses.
These two resolutions come at a crucial time and a month before the Summit for Democracy – organised by the United States government – where leaders from more than a hundred countries are reportedly invited to participate.
Addressing the membership, Transparency International’s Chair Delia Ferreira Rubio said:
“Transparency International’s strategy, Holding Power to Account, combines our common itinerary for the fight against corruption in the years leading up to 2030, while accommodating for different political and socio-economic contexts. Two urgent issues are imperative to this agenda: the defence of the civic space and strengthening of the rule of law. Autocratic regimes and even democratic nations have used the pandemic as an excuse to undermine good governance, rule of law and restrict freedoms and information in ways we haven’t seen before. Transparency International will not shy away from our responsibility to stand up against such abuses, and we will work together to reverse these dangerous trends.”
The 2021 Annual Membership Meeting also confirmed the appointment of the board’s first-ever independent member, Geo-Sung Kim (South Korea). Following an election, three vacant seats of the Board of Directors have also been filled.
Newly elected members of Transparency International's Board of Directors are:
- Dion Abdool. Dion chairs Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute, contributing to its legal advice centre as well as the business integrity and youth integrity programmes. As an attorney-at-law with over 25 years of experience in the corporate sector, Dion’s expertise ranges from commercial law to governance and public procurement. Among other accomplishments, he has worked to develop electronic procurement systems, online whistleblowing platforms and various governance manuals.
- Eka Gigauri. Eka rejoins the Board of Directors, having previously served a one-year term as its member in 2019-2020. She has been the Executive Director of Transparency International Georgia since 2011. Eka has been instrumental in building civil society coalitions to advocate for rule of law and good governance reforms in Georgia. A vocal activist, Eka has often been targeted with disinformation and smear campaigns. In her previous roles at the border police agency of Georgia, Eka supervised impactful and long-lasting anti-corruption reforms in the law enforcement.
- Alberto Precht. Alberto has served as the Executive Director of Chile Transparente since 2014 and, following his re-election at the 2021 Annual Membership Meeting, will serve on Transparency International’s Board of Directors for a second term. Alberto’s expertise spans transparency, access to information, open government and administrative law. Previously, he presided the Commission for Transparency at Chile’s Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency and helmed a media network Mi Voz.