7 Nov 2008, Towards Transparency was founded. After 10 years, it has achieved some important milestones and officially became the national chapter of Transparency International since 2009.
Its journey fighting for corruption in Vietnam could be read more at here.
At Towards Transparency’s 10 -year Anniversary, Ms Nguyễn Thị Kiểu Viễn, Founder, Executive Director has delivered an opening speech of TT’s journey “Fighting Corruption cannot be done alone”
“Dear Ambassadors, dear friends,
It is a great day today for Towards Transparency (TT) and it is of course a great day for me. I am very proud and happy to welcome you all here today to celebrate TT’s 10 year anniversary. We’re also here together today celebrating International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December). And another occasion to celebrate: 2018 marks Transparency International’s 25th anniversary.
10 years ago, Towards Transparency was born as a one-woman show. 10 years later, Towards Transparency is joined by many friends, partners and supporters- all of you are here today.
If I had to summarize these 10 years in one short sentence, the one I hope you will remember, it would be: Fighting corruption cannot be done alone! It is only together that we have achieved change and it is only together that we can work together to continue to fight corruption and make Vietnam a better place.
How do we do this?
We do this by building trust together. Trust in government, in institutions, in state and private companies, in citizens, and in ourselves.
So, when looking back at these last 10 years, I realized that much of what we did together was to build trust based on demonstrated good will and action:
- First at the very individual level, where it starts for everyone, believing that I could do something to challenge corruption. But again, I could not do it alone and needed to find others who were as dedicated to this vision of a Vietnam free of corruption.
- I found Transparency International, a global organization already working on anti-corruption. I needed to get Transparency International to trust in our ability to be part of their organization and have a presence for change in Vietnam. Together we have developed the Transparency International Anti-corruption Strategy in Vietnam since 2009.
- To move forward, it was also about getting the trust of strategic advisors. They are here this evening and they know how much their advice, experience and trust is important to us.
- And of course, building the trust from donors in working in partnership for anti-corruption. Let me be especially express my sincere thanks to the first one, Sweden, and in particular Molly Lien, who believed in us from the very first beginning, followed later by a group of donors, namely IrishAid, DFID-UK, and Finland. They are all here tonight. Without them, TT would not exist. And without their continuous support, regardless of the economic growth of the country, TT would disappear.
- Building the trust from local partners. Believe me, there were not so many at the beginning! Let me mention CECODES, the only Vietnamese partner that expressed a willingness to work with us in Together with other partner (Live & Learn), we implemented the first Youth Integrity Study in 2010-2011. This study was so successful that its methodology was replicated in 6 other countries.
- Gradually, but surely, building the trust of the government. It was not the easiest task to do. But we did it slowly, with tenacity: avoiding useless confrontation in favor of a partnering and construtive approach with the government agencies, in particular the General Inspectorate of Vietnam and the Central Comittee for Internal Affairs. For instance, with the General Inspectorate, we managed to build a trustful relationship. Using this approach, of course with up and downs, TT managed to influence, advocate and help align Vietnam’s anti-corruption legislation with international standards. Taking the today opportunity, I would like to let you know that the year 2018 marks an important turning point: TT organized and accompanied 2 high-level government official visits: one to attend the 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Copenhagen (supported by Denmark); and the other one to attend the Open Government Partnership Asia Pacific Regional conference in Seoul (supported by Belgium). You may have seen the one highlighted in the “Snapshots of our history” in the exhibition corner of this room.
- Last but not least, building trust from young people in Vietnam. Why end with youth? Because they are the future of this country. Beyond a successful economy lies a strong and efficient education system and infrastructure. That is why, TT does not only write reports and do policy advocacy but also teaches Vietnamese youth about integrity and anti-corruption. A few days ago we held our third edition of the first of its kind in Vietnam- Vietnam Integrity School (VIS), welcoming for a week 46 students from all over Vietnam. We are very grateful to the Irish Embassy for their partnership with multi-year support for our youth work.
So, to end my speech, let me thank you all one more time for trusting us and taking those first steps to support us and work together whether it was 10 years ago or yesterday. Whether it was with expertise, time, funding, partnership, or any other support, we have needed you to get where we are now and we need you to continue to move forward in the next phase of our journey towards creating a Vietnam free of corruption.