“The world we want can only be built on transparency,” said Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff in her opening remarks at the 15th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) last week in Brasilia. She highlighted her country’s efforts toward greater transparency, including the recent passage of a freedom of information law and the introduction of e-platforms where citizens can monitor spending by various government agencies. At the same time, she emphasized that the state should not be the sole focus of anti-corruption efforts and that other sectors must strive for transparency and accountability as well.
The President also pointed out the crucial link between transparency, anti-corruption, and democracy. Speaking from experience, Rousseff (who spent almost three years in jail for taking part in movements against Brazil’s former military regime) noted that “efforts to fight corruption are by their nature pro-democratic. (…) The noise that comes with freedom is preferable to the dead silence of dictatorship.”
This year’s IACC gathered a record number of participants – over 1,900 people from 140 countries – illustrating that the fight against corruption is a key topic of interest to diverse stakeholders worldwide. Participants shared their stories about the destructive impact of corruption on development but also ways to address it. These are just a few of corruption-related facts discussed at the event that resonated most with me: