A country of mistrust is a country in trouble – Danish PM

DANISH Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen has said a country of mistrust is a country in trouble.

And Prime Minister Rasmussen has called for protection of corruption watchdogs around the world, with a message to journalists that theirs is a dangerous job but “Denmark is on your side”.

Speaking yesterday to 1,500 delegates at the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Copenhagen, Denmark themed “Together for Development, Peace and Security: Now is the Time to Act”, Prime Minister Rasmussen emphasised the importance of creating public trust in state institutions for improved transparency.

“…lack of trust in state institutions will lead to general lack of confidence. A country of mistrust is a country in trouble; a country without stability. This is why the fight against corruption is so important to raise levels of trust between government institutions and the people,” Prime Minister Rasmussen said.

He noted the difficulties involved in the fight against corruption, as sometimes such efforts led to death of key anti-corruption campaigners and journalists.

“…we must protect those independent watchdogs to keep an eye on those with power. This is a dangerous job in many countries, and for journalists, you have my utmost respect and admiration. Denmark is on your side,” Prime Minister Rasmussen said.

The value of working together – civil society, journalists and all in  the fight against corruption – cannot be underestimated, he said.

“In Denmark, we have…very low levels of corruption…(but) does this mean we’re perfect? Of course not! No country in the world is free of corruption; there’s room for improvement (even in those countries with low levels of corruption). We have also had some disgraceful (cases of corruption) in Denmark,” said Prime Minister Rasmussen at the global event organised by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the IACC Council and Transparency International.
Leading experts, innovators, civil society activists, government, business and academia will debate – in more than 50 workshops and six high-level plenaries – how to turn anti-corruption pledges into concrete actions until Wednesday (tomorrow).

They will also discuss how they can work together towards sustainable development, peace and security in today’s increasingly polarised world where democracy is being weakened in too many countries.

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