Clare Short, Chair of the EITI, gave on 8 December the Annual Anti-Corruption Lecture at Transparency International UK.
In her lecture, Ms Short briefly reviews the evolution of efforts to curb corruption, concluding that some strides have been made since corruption started to be taken seriously in the last 10-15 years, exemplified by the recent growth of countries following the EITI standard, stating that “there is no doubt that the EITI has got off to a good start”.
In her lecture, she argues that corruption remains an issue in northern countries and highlights a number of British corruption scandals, most notably the around the Al Yamamah defence contracts. When talking about the research around the so-called "resource curse", she contrasts the stories of resource-rich southern countries with resource-rich countries Australia and Norway, concluding that "it is clear that the problem is governance, not the nature of the resources themselves". She then charts the background to the EITI, how it has evolved and the challenges it is currently facing.
Clare ends with “there is a real danger that in the difficult years that lie ahead, governments and companies will lessen their commitment to transparency and anti-corruption. This is why the work of Transparency International and all its national chapters, and hopefully an enhanced EITI, is so important in constantly shining a spotlight on these issues. I hope everyone here tonight will resolve to continue to support the work of TI and the UN Convention against Corruption as the pressures intensify in the difficult years that lie ahead.”