Greetings from Washington. I want to thank the government of Thailand for hosting this gathering and the IACC Council for its leadership over the years.
I’ve witnessed firsthand how corruption affects us all. I’ve met citizens who fear for their lives – not from war or terrorism or disease or malnutrition – but from their own governments and militaries. I’ve met small business owners who can’t make ends meet because of bribes demanded by government officials. When corruption infects the political system, it shakes citizens’ faith in the very promise of democracy.
We know the fight is not easy. But every day your work is making a difference. Whether you are fighting to make business licenses available online, or teaching citizens the power of social media to challenge corrupt officials, or supporting prosecutors who go after influential officials, you are making a real difference in people’s lives.
The United States is your partner in this fight. As one of the first countries to be reviewed under the U.N. Convention, we will ensure that promises are kept and commitments honored. And with the new G20 anticorruption agenda and our commitments in APEC this month, our leaders are taking additional steps to support just, honest government.
Thank you again for your dedication to this important cause.