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Transparency International leading the anti-corruption charge

The year 2004 brought greater financial stability, achievements, challenges

A coordinated global call for action in preventing corruption in humanitarian aid in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami highlighted a rewarding year for Transparency International (TI), according to its Annual Report 2004, released today. The year also saw TI move to a more solid financial footing, strengthening its position as the leading civil society organisation in the global fight against corruption.

TI Chairman and founder Peter Eigen underscored the importance of raising the world’s awareness of corruption: “Corruption corrodes the integrity of societies, markets and institutions. By drawing attention to illicit practices and sharpening the definition of what constitutes a corrupt act, TI has helped reduce tolerance of corruption and root out criminal practices that ruin lives.”

Eigen also confirmed that after 12 years as Chairman of the Board of Transparency International, he will not seek a further term in office. “Transparency International and its allies have, over the past decade, catapulted the issue of corruption to the top of the global agenda,” he said. “As I pass my responsibilities on to a new Chair, I am certain that TI will continue to be a source of innovation and leadership in this essential fight.”

David Nussbaum, TI’s Chief Executive, added, “Peter Eigen has inspired the world with his unstinting dedication to the fight against corruption, turning what seemed an impossible vision into a global movement that has taken on the crooks and the structures that protect them.”

The election of a new Chair will be held at TI’s Annual Membership Meeting in November 2005.

Top ways TI made a difference in 2004

1. Once again, TI’s Corruption Perceptions Index, cited in thousands of news stories annually, demonstrated the pervasive nature of corruption. 106 of the 146 countries surveyed in the 2004 Index rated below 5 on a scale ranging from 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (highly clean).

2. TI contributed to the European Commission’s assessment of corruption in European Union candidate countries.

3. TI’s national chapters created Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres (ALAC’s) in South East Europe.

4. National initiatives in awareness raising, public contracting and access to information were carried out by TI’s national chapters in Africa and Latin America.

5. Advancing global conventions that establish and reinforce the legal framework against corruption was one of TI’s global challenges. Adoption of a 10th principle against corruption by the UN Global Compact, stating that “businesses should work against corruption in all its forms”, was a major achievement.

6. TI commemorated the first International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December 2004, which united activists worldwide in a call to action.

7. TI’s Global Corruption Report 2004 focused attention on the destructive effect of money on the political system.

8. TI’s Global Corruption Barometer 2004 showed that political parties, parliaments, the police and the judiciary continue to be rated the most corrupt institutions by citizens worldwide.

Finances

Transparency International strengthened its existing relationships with donors and successfully engaged private sector support for the fight against corruption. In 2004, TI received donations of 6.5 million euros, the majority from bilateral and multilateral donors, and the remainder from private foundations and private sector sources.

Although 2004 was a rewarding year for TI, corruption continues to be a major obstacle to development. During 2005 TI’s national chapters around the world will continue to focus on implementing new tools and strategies, and monitoring governments and businesses to keep them accountable. TI is well prepared to face the many challenges ahead.

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Transparency International is the leading global civil society organisation devoted to the fight against corruption.

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