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09 December 2008

SPEECH OF MR. HASAN PRETENI IN THE CEREMONY MARKING INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY

PRISHTINA 9 DECEMBER 2008 - Today, in all countries of the world that tend to build a healthy and democratic society is marked the international day of fight against corruption. This day is also marked here - for the first time as an independent state.
Until two years, the 9 December International Anti-Corruption Day in Kosovo was not even thought it should be marked. But now this is happening. And this is due to the courage and more increased awareness of society in general to deal with the fight against corruption. 
Throughout this year, Anti-Corruption Agency has demonstrated a clearly stated commitment to consistently cultivate and create a broader dimension of cooperation with all those who want to demonstrate their willingness to strengthen the rule of law.
Extent of corruption in Kosovo sounds worrying. And together, as a society - Government, Parliament, Civil society, Media, business and ordinary citizens we should step into the game so we can jointly improve this situation and our image.
Anti-Corruption Agency has consistently made efforts to build a strong wall to prevention as well as fighting corruption. Along with practical activities of fight against corruption Agency is engaged in completing the legal framework in this field.
Honoured guests,
Corruption will be one of the biggest challenges of this transition period. This challenge must be faced, because of corruption, whether there is large or small scope, it is a threat that increases poverty and hampers development in all areas.
Corruption is a threat to the rule of law, human rights, good governance, fairness, social rights, loyal competition, economic progress, also threatens security in the country and general confidence in public institutions and the moral value of the society;
While in countries with developed democracies fight against corruption is the duty of independent prosecutors and judges, in countries with fragile democracies even the courts and prosecutors are often not credible and involved in corrupt activities, which makes impossible the necessary success. 
On the other hand, I really think that the media in all this time have demonstrated courage and published professional reporting on corrupt actions of those who had or are abusing official position bestowed upon them.
Perhaps, you as journalists have many times been under pressure, or even been blackmailed over your courageous work, but I believe you had the courage to challenge all those to whom you had a suspicion that have misused public money.
I congratulate all those journalists who today will be rewarded for their courageous work. I encourage everyone to continue to cooperate with us in order to expose the faces of those who violate the law.
Today is a good opportunity for me to convey our cordial thanks to all those people who demonstrated their civic courage by denouncing acts of corruption. Without the help of society the realization of our mission will become much more difficult. Therefore it is essentially important to increase awareness and to increase the contribution of every citizen of Kosovo to become part of us in order to be winners against potential abusers of Kosovo taxpayers.
Also, in the context of a very significant message coming from the European Commission which has announced that 2009 will be the year of the Western Balkans and where efforts to prevent and combat corruption are seen as a priority sector, it is important that we join together the efforts and our activities in order to achieve our mission.
The motto of the United Nations, for 9 December 2008, the International Anti-Corruption Day is;
A NO from you counts! - And I, as director of the Agency and citizen of the newest state of Europe, from here urge all citizens of Kosovo - Say NO to corruption because – Your NO really counts…
Thank you for your cooperation. 
(Ceremony marking the International Anti-Corruption Day in Prishtina organized by: Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency, United Nations Development Programme UNDP, office in Prishtina and APJK. On this day were awarded journalists who for a year have continued to write newspaper articles and make radio stories or TV chronicles which have driven the public reaction against corruption phenomenon)

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