Friday, July 12, 2013

A Cultural Celebration! The Opening of the World Transparency International Summer School.

On July 8th, 2013, I had the opportunity to accompany our Assistant Public Affairs Officer to the British Embassy. We travelled for APAO Nina Murray to make remarks at the opening of the World Transparency International Summer School. This school is a week-long program for young people to make them aware of the causes and manifestations of corruption. There were 140 participants from over 60 countries!

When we arrived, we were greeted by a colorful and beautiful spectacle! Most of the 140 student participants were dressed in folk costumes -- or the students' interpretations of those -- from Russia, China, Ukraine, the Balkans, and more! Countries from which the summer school participants came from can be found on a map here.  

The school lecturers will look for ways to achieve greater transparency and confront corruption in everyday life. Young leaders will share their best anti-corruption and transparency ideas with experts from the U.S., Great Britain, Russia, France, Poland, Peru, Germany, Slovenia, Denmark, Norway and Lithuania. "Our school's purpose - to inspire young people to achieve greater transparency in their daily lives" says Transparency International Lithuanian Head Sergei Murav'ev.

The creators of this school hope to create an environment in which young people, together with experienced professionals in their fields, look for new and yet untried ways to reduce corruption in their own countries. Schools are organized by Transparency International Lithuanian Chapter in cooperation with Michael Romeris University and Transparency International global secretariat. For successful completion of the the program university students will receive 6 college credits

"Transparency International Summer School is a success story and a great example of how to bring together students from all over the world to fight corruption," said the global board Chair Huguette Labelle. This School is co-organized by the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation , the Embassy of the Republic of Finland, the United States Embassy in Vilnius, the Polish embassy in Vilnius, the Transparency International Secretariat of Transparency International, the UK Defence and Security Program and the British Embassy in Vilnius

Our Embassy fully supports such a program, and it was encouraging to be witness to so many young dedicating their summer to learn ways to combat corruption and improve transparency. I wish them all the best of luck in the challenge they have taken on: to combat corruption and bring accountability to government. 

“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”
- President Barack Obama