The Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA) hosted a press lunch on June 12 2012 on the day of the launch of its “Time to Wake Up” campaign.
After thanking the media who have supported this campaign, Mr. Gerard Zovighian, President of the Association said:
“Since its foundation in 1999, LTA has been at the forefront of the fight against corruption in Lebanon and our research, publications and recommendations are considered works of reference in this area. These include Towards a National Anti- Corruption Strategy and the 2011 National Integrity System report. The former concludes that the absence of good governance is closely linked to the system of sharing powers and positions in public administration between religious groups. The latter covers the 17 institutions and sectors which form the pillars of the country’s anti-corruption system, beginning with the executive, legislative and judiciary powers. It recommends reforms specific to each ‘pillar’ and of a wider scope including the ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the creation of a national organism to fight corruption, the creation of a law concerning access to information, whistleblower protection and reform of the electoral law.
“However in the absence of political will and of an independent judiciary system, the recommendations of the LTA and other concerned actors, including the Association of Arab Parliamentarians against Corruption (ARPAC) have unfortunately remained without effect.
“Political authorities continue to ignore civil society’s calls for better governance of the public sector. Political and administrative corruption are as widespread as ever. Nepotism, cronyism, embezzlement of public funds, bribery and vote buying persist.
“It is the citizen who pays the price, as demonstrated by the recent multiplication of scandals reported in the media. For example, consider the resignation of a member of the Supreme Council of the judicial authorities who was accused of corruption and the discovery of enormous quantities of out of date spoiled food products on the market.”
LTA’s strategy for the years to come focuses on four axes:
- Engaging with people, particularly the youth, more widely than ever before - for ultimately only people can stop corruption
- Speaking out more boldly about corruption ( the phrase “we do not investigate or expose individual cases of corruption” was removed from our mission statement)
- Working more closely with our coalition partners and the media to this end
- Using our influence to exercise more pressure on political decision makers to implement anti-corruption reforms
These priorities lie within the framework of Transparency InternationaI’s five year strategy which has initiated an ambitious programme of reinforcement of its presence in the Middle East and North Africa region in the wake of the “Arab Spring”.
Speaking afterwards, LTA board member Ibrahim Tabet said: “Thanks to Transparency International’s backing and the support of Lebanese media we are launching locally a global integrated communication campaign under the theme “Time to Wake Up.” This campaign consists of:
- A TV, press and outdoor campaign for which we have been granted free advertising space by the media, whom we wish to thank very much for their support
- A mass mailing and online campaign that aims to collect a maximum number of signatures from citizens on a petition asking political authorities to implement the UNCAC convention
- A revamp of our Facebook page allowing citizens to post testimonials of corruption cases
- An outreach campaign consisting of distributing this petition through our network of activists in the country’s 26 districts
- The organization of a demonstration in front of the Parliament to submit this petition backed by a maximum number of signatures
- The creation of an investigative journalism award and a creative award for the best anti-corruption viral videos targeting art and advertising students
- A fundraising gala dinner
Tabet’s intervention was followed by a brief presentation of the UNCAC convention by board member Yahia Hakim and the screening of a documentary on LTA’s activities.
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