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New Transparency International board members elected from Cameroon, Ecuador and South Korea

TI’s Annual Membership Meeting in Kenya followed by international conference on 12-13 October on challenges facing new governments elected on an anti-corruption platform

The members of Transparency International (TI), the world's leading non-governmental organisation fighting corruption, meeting in Nairobi on 10 October, elected three new members to the TI Board of Directors. The new board members are Geo-Sung Kim (South Korea), Valeria Merino-Dirani (Ecuador) and Akere T. Muna (Cameroon). TI's Annual Membership Meeting, which took place in Nairobi, Kenya, on 9-10 October, was attended by more than 200 delegates from more than 75 countries.

Geo-Sung Kim is the founding secretary-general of Transparency International Korea, which came into existence in 1999. An ordained pastor in the Gumin Presbyterian Church, he was active in the democracy and human rights movements in South Korea and was imprisoned twice between 1977-1980 for criticising the then dictatorship.

Dr Valeria Merino-Dirani is an experienced Ecuadorian lawyer and democracy activist. Since 1999, she has been the executive director of Corporación Latinoamericana para el Desarrollo (CLD), TI's national chapter in Ecuador. In 1995, she was Vice-President of the Council of the United Nations University.

Akere T. Muna is founder and president of Transparency International Cameroon. A lawyer by training, Muna is chairman of the Accreditation Committee of the Pan African Lawyers Union and a former president of the Cameroon Bar Association.

The three new board members replace outgoing members Claudio Weber Abramo (Brazil), Emília Sicáková-Beblavá (Slovakia) and Mame Adama Gueye (Senegal), who each served a three-year term on the Board.

The TI Annual Members Meeting was held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 9-10 October, ahead of the conference New Anti-Corruption Governments: The Challenge of Delivery, hosted by the Kenyan government and co-organised with TI-Kenya and the TI International Secretariat. The conference, taking place on 12-13 October, is designed to foster constructive dialogue on the anti-corruption strategies open to new reform-minded governments and to develop key recommendations to support their efforts. Speakers include Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, TI Chairman Peter Eigen, and Georgian Prime Minister Zura Zhvania. The meeting includes participants from Ghana, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea and Zambia.

"There is a lot of hope riding on the efforts of new anti-corruption governments, not just in Kenya, but all over the continent and the globe, including in Georgia, Malaysia, and elsewhere," said Peter Eigen in an opening plenary speech, entitled High hopes, high stakes, on 12 October. He continued: "It is the responsibility of all actors - governments, international institutions, the private sector (domestic and international) and civil society organisations - to make sure that these efforts succeed. There is no single recipe, but any solution requires political vision and sustained political will to engage all partners in this effort against corruption."

TI's new board members

Geo-Sung Kim
Geo-Sung Kim is the founding secretary-general of Transparency International Korea, the South Korean chapter of TI established in 1999. He is an ordained pastor of the Gumin Presbyterian Church and holds degrees in theology and sociology. He has participated in the democracy and human rights movements in Korea and between 1977-1980 he was twice imprisoned for criticising the then dictatorship. Reverend Kim has served in various civil society organisations over the past 25 years. In 2002 and 2003, he was honoured by the Korean government as a "person of merit" for his contribution to Korea's democratisation movements. Kim has been active on various government anti-corruption committees and has been an adviser to the Federatoin of Korean Industries.

Dr Valeria Merino-Dirani
Valeria Merino-Dirani is a lawyer who has worked to further democracy and transparency initiatives in Latin America for more than 15 years. Since 1999, she has been the executive director of Corporación Latinoamericana para el Desarrollo (CLD), Transparency International's national chapter in Ecuador. Merino-Dirani has helped to establish a network of TI chapters in Latin America. In 1995, she was appointed a member of the Council of the United Nations University and served as the university's vice-president. She has been a pro-bono adviser to several committees of Congress and public entities in Ecuador, and has participated in numerous programmes aimed at reforming aspects of the public sector, including public procurement. Through the CLD, she was a strong advocate for Ecuador's recently passed freedom of information law.

Akere T. Muna
Akere T. Muna is founder and president of Transparency International Cameroon. A lawyer by training, he is chairman of the Accreditation Committee of the Pan African Lawyers Union and former president of the Cameroon Bar Association. Muna is a member of several national commissions on legal reform and curbing corruption. He was a member of the National Ad-hoc Commission for the Fight against Corruption and has served as a Commonwealth Observer for Zanzibar's elections in 2000. He was actively involved in the TI working group that helped to draft the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and has written a guide to the convention published by TI.

For information about all 12 members of Transparency International's Board of Directors, see: http://www.transparency.org/


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