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Leaders, Activists, Youth Join Hands Against Corruption

“Ben-Vindo”, meaning welcome in Portuguese, greets faces from 130 different countries at the entrance of the Ulysses Guimarães Convention Center at the heart of Brazil’s capital, Brasilia. Some participants still holding their large travel luggage clearly show they have come here directly from the airport.

A total of 1,500 participants have gathered here to take part in the 15th International Anti-Corruption Conference. The theme and the goal of the conference is ‘Mobilising people: Connecting agents of change‘ and they have been busy networking even before the conference starts.

As corruption continues to be rife all across the globe,Transparency International has pointed out that attention should now be focused towards managing growing threats and restrictions of civil society space around the world, to fight against corruption.

Chair of Transparency International, Huguette Labelle, says that civil society organisations play an essential role in the fight against corruption as they are best suited to give voice to the victims.

In an opening message Dilma Rousseff, the President of Brazil, argues that mobilising people and connecting change agents is very important in the fight against corruption.

Transparency International has called upon all States to include the issue relating to governance and anticorruption in the post 2015 framework for the Millennium Development Goals.

The 15th IACC kicked off on Wednesday Nov. 07 2012, in Brasilia, with a grand function. This year’s four-day conference is divided into over 50 workshops and plenary sessions. The five key areas that the speakers will be discussing are: ending impunity, clean climate governance, preventing illicit financial flows, political transitions leading to stable and transparent governments, and clean sports.

Justice Barry O’Keefe, Chair of the IACC Council believes, “The cream of the world’s anti-corruption movement has joined together to bring about change for a better world, a world in which corruption is anathema.

The 15th IACC has as its goal the engagement and empowerment of people to bring about that change, change that will stem from the grassroot, change that is permanent and irreversible, change that pervades to the whole social fabric from the bottom to the top, so that corruption and violation of human rights and dignity are socially and politically unacceptable.”

This year’s conference is organized by the IACC Council, Transparency International, Amarribo, Instituto Ethos, and hosted by the Government of Brazil and the Office of the Comptroller General of Brazil.

Participants representing government, civil society, multilateral institutions, academia and the business sector say that these sorts of conference on anti corruption are important.

Conference participant Khusraw Parwez, Governance Advisor to Deutsche Gescellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH Afghanistan, beleives that they are very important to sensitize the masses for anti-corruption movements.

“Such a conference/program brings various people under one umbrella, by sharing ideas and information, people can develop transparency and accountability.” says Parwez.

Daniel Cloney, Programme Advisor, Information Activism – Privacy and Expression at Tactical Technology Collective suggests that new technology and tools should be used in the fight against corruption. However Daniel is quick to add that activists have to be aware about the dangers.

“We are trying to create awareness among human right defenders, activists and journalists who are working on transparency issues, basically some dangers and vulnerability that comes with information technology as part of their work.” argues Daniel.

A declaration on the fight against corruption will be adopted at the closing of 15th IACC on November 10.

Pictures by Andrea Arzaba and Rajneesh Bhandari.

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About The Author(s)

Rajneesh Bhandari

Rajneesh Bhandari

Multimedia Journalist

Rajneesh Bhandari is a multimedia journalist based in Nepal with seven years of reporting experience in news and current affairs. In June 2012 he came up with Living with Autism, an iPad Book, an interactive multi-touch book. He was awarded KTV’s journalist of the year 2011 for his investigative stories on diplomatic passport scam. He is Transparency International's young anti-corruption journalist. He is also UNESCO and ILO's youth journalist.

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