The Hague, 8 December 2017: The Integrity Advantage and Collective Action have been the two themes of the ICC’s International Integrity and Anti-Corruption Conference, a yearly multi-stakeholder conference and an initiative of ICC Netherlands. More than 200 participants gathered in the Peace Palace in The Hague on the 8 of December 2017, to gain insight from speakers including Richard Bistrong, a formerly prosecuted sales and marketing executive, Jan Hommen, former CEO of both KPMG and ING Bank, Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman, and Roel Nieuwenkamp, Chairman of the OECD Working group on Corporate Social Responsibility.
Albania was present at this event with a diverse profile of speakers including Minister of State for the Protection of the Entrepreneurship, Sonila Qato, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Albania, her Excellency Dewi vand de Weerd, Chairman of ICC Albania, Genc Boga.
While addressing her speech (read full speech) at the plenary session Minister Qato highlighted;
‘’ We believe that in the fight against corruption, a coalition of companies united by a set of principles and standards can have a far greater aggregate impact, transforming this way into a role model.’’
At the pre-conference dinner, Ambassador Dewi van de Weerd focused in her speech on the work of the Dutch Embassy in Albania in the light of the theme of the conference: the fight against corruption and collective action. Ambassador Van de Weerd stated;
‘’For collective action civil society, government and companies need to work together. The embassy works often in such public-private partnerships. An interesting example of collective action was the report of Corporate Social Responsibility NL about sustainable opportunities in the textile and leather sector in Albania, commissioned by the embassy. That report led to a Dutch trade mission on textile and to concrete orders of Dutch companies in Albania. Another interesting outcome was a documentary on labour conditions in the textile sector, where there is room for improvement.”
At the break-out session on Albania-Netherlands collective action, Chairman of ICC Albania Mr. Genc Boga provided an insight on the major developments and obstacles facing the Albanian society in general with regard to corruption. Chairman of ICC Albania, Mr Genc Boga said:
“The fight against corruption is a never ending war! But we have to start somewhere to retain it from increasing and continuously and in a sustainable course diminish it. Time is our enemy! People, businesses representatives and other stakeholders need to see and experience the results of the fight against corruption when alive.”
Whereas, Ambassador van de Weerd said;
‘’Governments and their leaders need to show the way in the fight against corruption by being accountable and providing access to remedy. The new Minister for Entrepreneurs in Albania can function as an ombudsman. Companies should show responsible business conduct and can even act as corporate human rights defenders. Civil society plays a watchdog role.’’