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30 November 2007

SPEECH OF MR. PRETENI IN THE CONFERENCE

Dear participants: 
First of all let me congratulate for the great commitment that you made in promoting transparency and institutional setting that is a fundamental prerequisite of preventing corruption.
I understand the importance of regional meetings such as this one today because they always serve us not only to exchange personal experiences but also to reflect and discuss the many models of cooperation from a broader perspective.
Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency has been active for almost a year and a half however there is not yet a year since we have announced full functionality. Despite the low number of staff we are mobilizing all the forces to offer an efficient service as required by the legal framework established by the Assembly of Kosovo, and that is the implementation of the Anti-Corruption Law.
In relation to transparency, all possible shortcomings in the legal framework that can affect our daily practice, we are trying with a special commitment to incorporate in the laws additional elements that strengthen the transparency.
The agency will be responsible to execute the Anti-Corruption Law and the Law on the Declaration and Control of Property and Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest. With our initiative groups of experts are in the midst of working on Amendment of the Anti-Corruption Law, and the drafting of Kosovo Anti-Corruption Strategy.
Having in mind that we strongly commit to fight and prevent corruption in the focus of our operations along with the current activities will be a range of activities that are in the line of institutional transparency, which are a precondition of preventing corruption.
We as a body so far have been lobbying with all our energy on the possibility of larger institutional opening, taking into account that we understand the importance of the right to be informed and to know.
In this spirit, in December with the help of UNDP and the OSCE, we will start an awareness campaign which, unlike other earlier campaigns is not on targeting the general public, but this time ACA during the campaign will be directed at establishing and developing the capacity of civilian staff (public administration). It is in everyone's interest that Kosovo public administration officials are prepared and able to respond quickly to citizen requests.
Alongside the commitment to strengthening institutional transparency we will also orient to the training of civil servants in the field of legal framework. In this regard, besides the law to fight against corruption and ways it will be implemented in practice, there is a strong initiative of local and foreign experts in terms of promoting the effective operation of law on access to official documents.
Let me tell you that few days ago, with the sponsorship of UNDP and the OSCE, we as Agency together with representatives of the provisional institutions of self-government, courts, prosecutors, representatives of civil society, the Association of Professional Journalists of Kosovo, had a two-day workshop, from which emerged the recommendation that with joint forces we initiate the necessary changes to laws in force but also to supplement the existing framework with the new laws.
We are sincerely grateful to the civil society especially media which have been an irreplaceable ally in our fight against corruption. I believe that we shall be together also in the challenges that await us. 
Once again I congratulate you for this conference and wish you all good work.

Hasan Preteni 
Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency Prishtina, 30 November 2007

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