Moral Values Speech

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Leaders act on behalf of the people, who entrust them to uphold basic ethical standards.

In many parts of the world we are seeing massive protests because people feel their leaders are not living up to those standards.

The country that we believe in should be open, free, safe and just with a decent quality of life for all and state institutions that are ethical, transparent and accountable to the citizens, with a clean private sector and educational institutions that prepare their graduates to have a strong moral compass in their professional and private life. As a first step it is absolutely vital to have strong and committed leadership at the top setting an example.

Leaders who will create a culture of transparency and integrity within institutions with zero tolerance to corruption.

While our globalised world seems to turn in a constant series of crises evolving in real-time on the internet and 24-hour news, it is important that we take the time at this important conference to consider the underlying issues that are at stake. And what can be done to prevent and treat this disease?

This conference is an opportunity to better understand how leaders, managers and those who deliver services to our people can anchor their work on a strong set of ethical values.Efforts to tackle corruption have often failed because of corruption in the justice system.When there are factors that encourage the judiciary to take action contrary to the public interest, it can be very difficult to create a strong disincentive to corrupt behavior: politicians, businessmen and criminals can be encouraged to break the law safe in the knowledge that justice can be evaded.People already think global leaders are failing, according to our most recent global survey and many no longer expect their leaders to act in the public interest: If you pay a lot of money to a candidate running for election, that candidate owes you something when it comes to deciding the right policies.The question is whether the power of money is greater than the power of ethics?Our global corruption survey also warns that bribery plagues sectors key to setting up a new business, with one person in five paying bribes to registry their company, seek a permit and land services and more than one in ten having to bribe regarding utilities, tax and customs.Corruption can become endemic and leave people feeling that the institutions supposed to help them are in fact turned against them: The result of justice systems being weakened by corruption for development is that people become disempowered, losing their ability to seek justice in courts or hold politicians to account.While elections are often won or lost on the corruption issue, those who profit from corruption can be a barrier to reformers who come to power with a promise to clean up.Early engagement often fizzles as pressure increases to stop the cleaning of the administration.Judges may rule in favour of the corrupt when disputes arise, irrespective of evidence and the law.I believe that people in our countries do not wish to see their institutions both state and private being complicit to fraud and criminal activity.

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