Transparency International, a Berlin, Germany-based independent monitoring group, has released its 2006 report on government corruption around the world. Davis Nussbaum is Transparency International's chief executive:
"Corruption is an extremely serious problem, not just for the country but above all for the people who live there and whose daily lives are damaged and curtailed by the prevalence of corruption."
Government corruption is endemic in many countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. According to Transparency International, the countries that rank at the bottom of the list are Haiti, Guinea, Iraq, and Burma. While the wealthiest countries generally rank in the top half of the index, many private companies in those countries "routinely pay bribes, particularly in developing economies. Companies from emerging export powers India, China and Russia rank among the worst," says Transparency International. "In the case of China and other emerging export powers, efforts to strengthen domestic anti-corruption activities have failed to extend abroad."
David Luna is the U.S. State Department's director for anti-corruption initiatives. He says, "Corruption clearly results in the misallocation of resources and tends to be more prevalent where systems of governance and political will to combat corruption are weak."
At this year's Group of Eight industrialized nations meeting in St Petersburg, Russia, representatives from the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Russia called for strengthened international efforts to deny safe haven to corrupt senior public officials and their ill-gotten assets, as well as to those who corrupt them. The Group of Eight also agreed to work cooperatively to combat fraud and the misuse of public resources, as well as to find ways to reduce high-level corruption.
President George W. Bush says, "For too long, the culture of corruption has undercut development and good governance and bred criminality and mistrust around the world." He says the U.S. is committed to confront corruption "and to help create the conditions necessary for people everywhere to enjoy the full benefits of honest, just, and accountable governance."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.