Speeches & Transcripts

Opening Remarks for The Vietnam Anti-Corruption Initiative Program 2014

December 10, 2013

Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam Hanoi, Vietnam

As Prepared for Delivery

Today has been set aside globally as a day for the Fight Against Corruption.  This is because over the last several decades, it has become increasingly clear that good governance including through successfully addressing corruption, matters for socio economic progress. 

Looking across the world, countries that are successful developed high income economies are also countries with better governance and lower levels of corruption.

Furthermore several countries that have been effective in addressing high levels of corruption earlier in their development (e.g. Korea) have been able to move from emerging middle income to successful MI and eventually developed high income economies. 

It is therefore fitting that we are launching the 4th Vietnam Anti-Corruption Initiative on this special day dedicated to the fight against corruption and the effort to support good governance more broadly.

Over the last year The Government has amended the Anti-Corruption Law and put in place important guiding decrees on its implementation. These decrees include Decree 59 which provides more detailed guidance on the implementation of the transparency chapters in the revised law, Decree 78 which takes a step forward in disclosing asset and income declarations of public officials, and Decree 90 which stipulates the rights of businesses and citizens to enquire for information in administrative decisions that has affect them.

We look forward to strong implementation of these legal provisions and stand ready to provide support. 

The fight against corruption is everybody’s business—Government, private sector, civil society and the population at large.  VACI is an attempt to help Vietnamese civil society and the larger population to do its part in the fight against corruption. 

Through different rounds of VACI, together we have shown that ordinary Vietnamese can do a lot to help stop corruption. The 83 winning proposals from VID 2009, VACI 2011 and 2013 have helped us successfully test innovative ideas to enhance transparency including on tough issues , greater accountability of service providers and generally mobilize communities to fight corruption, such as a web portal for citizens to report corrupt acts (toidihoilo.com), initiatives of youth groups to promote integrity in schools and universities, or patients’ feedbacks that helped enhance services provided by some hospitals. These initiatives have brought positive changes to communities; some have been scaled up and become good models that have been used for other activities. There has also been encouraging stronger participation from the private sector, from youth organisations. 
GI’s demonstrated increasing ownership and strong leadership of the VACI program has also been a key factor in VACI’s success. 

This 4th VACI is being co-organized by the GI and the WB with funding from other development partners, notably DFID and Irish AID.

I would like to thank GI for the opportunity to collaborate on this important initiative and we look forward to your continued strong ownership in VACI2014 and beyond.  The sign of VACI’s ultimate success would be if it is moved from a standalone activity funded by development partners to become an integral part of the Government’s program and if the successful pilots are scaled up into the Government programs nationally or at the level of communities. In other words of VACI is seen as an “incubator” for innovative ideas in the fight against corruption. I hope that during VACI2014, we can have conversations about how this could happen more systematically—not on an ad hoc basis as is the case now.  

I would also like to thank development partners who demonstrate trust in both the GI and WB by working through us. We hope that you feel that your objectives are being achieved and hope that you will challenge us to do the best job.  I want to assure you that this is a responsibility that we take seriously and give full attention to.  

We look forward to continuing implementation of on-going VACI2013 initiatives and strong participation from Vietnamese local government, social organisations and private businesses in VACI 2014.