IACC Opening Speech

Filed under - Civil society

Speech by Huguette Labelle, 7 November 2012 – International Anti-Corruption Conference, Brasilia, Brazil
Image of speaker/author

Madame President, Honourable Ministers, special guests, friends and colleagues,

Bom dia, estou feliz de poder estar no Brazil hoje.

We meet today under the banner of “Connecting Agents of Change”. Someone called Socrates once said, the problem is that we don’t work together. I am not talking about the Greek philosopher of course but the late Brazilian footballer who wanted to bring democracy to his team in a time of military rule. He felt that people had a better chance of solving the problems around them if they work together.

You have come from 130 countries from law enforcement and government, from civil society and sport and from business, to do exactly what Socrates wanted: to work together.

As we meet, corruption is recognized as the central major threat facing humanity destroying lines, communities and countries.

But as we meet, there is also a new worldwide convergence in the development of legal frameworks from the US to Europe to other regions and countries.

And this:

  • In new levels of transparency in the natural resources sector – the people’s resources
  • In access to information and whistleblower protection Madame President, your law is called “The free Access to Information Law”. This is very much in the spirit of government information being the people’s information.

The G20, the 7SB, the OECD agenda to deal with money laundering, stolen assets, illicit trade, tax evasion must be acted upon swiftly by national governments to deal with their toxic impact on people in all countries.

Our conventions, especially UNCAC, OECD & regional conventions are major instruments in this regard. Again enforcement is what matters.

Today we should expect nothing else than clean governments and clean business. A by-product is also increased public trust in governments and more successful companies.

No to impunity should not remain a slogan – it must be dealt with – with all our combined strength.

This is where our justice system, especially the judiciary must live to its full promise. Only then will we have protection of rights, achieve higher level of confidence and security. 

The near future offers opportunities to build transparency in efforts to respond to climate change and fight poverty ensuring that all resources reach their destination.

We need to continue the work on laws, institutions and systems at national level. However, local government are those who most frequently interface with the citizens through direct delivery of essential services. This is a new frontier for concerted action to achieve local government integrity. I would venture that all participants have reached the conclusion that people must be part of the solution.

To make this happen, people will need to be supported, connected to achieve full transparency and accountability.

People power can be tremendously powerful in achieving better local and national governance.

I want to thank our hosts, the Brazilian government and the office of the Comptroller General, but most of all the Brazilian people.

Madame President, as we come to your country, we are looking forward to learning from your experience, what is taking place in Brazil to stop corruption and not leave behind a trail of impunity.

Amarribo and Instituto Ethos, thank you for your support.

Corruption is a plague on all our houses. Together we can, we must work together to a sustainable cure.

Thank you.

Country / Territory - Brazil   
Region - Global   |   Europe and Central Asia   
Language(s) - English   
Topic - Access to information   |   Advocacy   |   Civil society   |   Conventions   |   Environment   |   Judiciary   |   Whistleblowing   
Tags - Huguette Labelle   |   Whistleblower protection   |   Judiciary   |   International Anti-Corruption Conference   |   Impunity   |   Natural resources   |   Conventions   |   Connecting Agents of Change   

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