The Partnership for Transparency Fund Welcomes President Biden’s Declaration Against Corruption
June 3, 2021 – The Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) strongly welcomes the statement by US President Joe Biden that: “Today, I am issuing a National Security Study Memorandum on the Fight Against Corruption to establish combatting corruption as a core US national security interest.”
President Biden stressed: “Corruption eats away at the foundations of democratic societies. It makes government less effective, wastes public resources, and exacerbates inequalities in access to services, making it harder for families to provide for their loved ones.”
PTF President Richard Stern said, “These views by President Biden mesh with the core beliefs that stimulate courageous work by the civil society organizations in many developing countries that PTF seeks to support. PTF and its partners believe that citizen engagement in securing government transparency, accountability, and integrity is a vital—and well-proven—path to curbing corruption and raising citizens out of poverty.”
The statement by the US president comes at a time when CSOs in low- and middle-income countries, more than ever, face government repression of free media and civil society activism. They urgently need major support from government and foundation donors. This is all the more the case given the intense hardships caused by COVID-19. PTF seeks to counter these challenges—while also monitoring vaccine distribution—in a series of special projects in India, Africa, and Latin America with its partner CSOs.
Accordingly, PTF strongly endorses President Biden’s statement of support for partnerships with civil society. In this context, PTF welcomes the specific statement in the White House memorandum: “The United States partners with foreign governments and civil society to enhance the capacity of their domestic institutions to implement transparency, oversight, and accountability measures. The [National Security Study Memorandum] NSSM therefore directs departments and agencies to focus on anti-corruption best practices and improve enforcement measures in the implementation of foreign assistance programs and security cooperation.”
“This is an unprecedented statement by the White House, and now resolute actions need to follow the fine words,” said Frank Vogl, PTF Board Chair. According to Vogl, President Biden should immediately seek full support for this anti-corruption approach at the forthcoming G7 Summit in the UK. Then, civil society should be invited to participate fully in developing the concrete approaches that can—and must—make a major difference in the fight against corruption.