Today, on International Anti-Corruption Day, Secretary Blinken announced the third cohort of Anti-Corruption Champions at a ceremony hosted by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. These eight individuals have demonstrated leadership, courage, and impact in preventing, exposing, and combating corruption.
Corruption erodes public trust in government and democratic institutions, deepens poverty and inequity, and stifles opportunity and growth. It can affect people in virtually every aspect of their daily lives. That is why President Biden designated the fight against corruption as a core national security interest, and why the United States partnered with Transparency International to co-host the International Anti-Corruption Conference this week.
The Department of State counters corruption through country-to-country diplomacy, developing strong international standards and supporting their implementation, building and strengthening government institutions and international networks, using visa restrictions and sanctions to hold corrupt officials accountable, and supporting journalists and non-government actors who promote transparency and advocate for accountability for corrupt individuals. We are proud of our record, but we recognize that in our interconnected global system, no country can fight corruption alone. We are honored to work alongside champions like these to defeat corruption.
The honorees are Antonio Cervantes García of Mexico, Jean de Dieu Rakotondramihamina of Madagascar, Stevan Dojcinovic of Serbia, Cynthia Gabriel of Malaysia, Rozina Islam of Bangladesh, Marco Antonio Rueda Soto of Colombia, Qismah Salih Ali Mendeli of Iraq, and Janet Zhou of Zimbabwe. Prior to the ceremony, the honorees visited St. Petersburg, Florida and Washington, D.C as part of a two-week International Visitor Leadership Program IVLP) to engage with American counterparts committed to countering corruption.
As the world commemorates International Anti-Corruption Day, the United States renews its commitment to stand by citizens everywhere calling for transparency, rule of law, and justice.