Here are a few excerpts from Hillary Clinton’s speech at an award ceremony for the international non-profit, Transparency International:[…] “We know that corruption and the lack of transparency eats away like a cancer at the trust people should have in their government, at the potential for broad-based, sustainable, inclusive growth. Corruption stifles entrepreneurship, siphons funding away from critical services, poor fiscal transparency makes it impossible to hold governments accountable. And if these problems go on long enough, if they run deep enough, they literally can and have been shaking societies to the core.”
(…) “We also know that corrupt practices contribute to the spread of organized crime and terrorism. They underwrite trafficking in drugs and arms and human beings. And we have a major stake in building up partners who can work with us to take on these transnational threats and to promote stability, who will work with us to champion an international standard of behavior that gives more people in more places the opportunity to fulfill their own God-given potential.”
(…) “And I know that with all of the businesses represented here tonight, you understand how unfair it is when competitors pay the bribes, pass the money under the table, prey on public officials in other countries to force or extort them to do their bidding. And oftentimes, it prevents American businesses even from making investments in certain places where clearly they should have a competitive advantage.
Now, of course, for every one of those officials who are taking cash under the table just to do his or her job, there are many who are refusing. There are leaders of integrity who are trying to look powerful people in the eye and say, “No.” But they need our admiration, but more importantly, our support.
So we have made it a priority to fight corruption and promote transparency, and the United States has been at this for quite a number of years now. In 1996, the United States played a major role in developing the first legally-binding commitment by governments to fight corruption. And we’ve led on many important fronts since then. But I’d like to just briefly describe what this Administration is doing.” (Read more: US Department of State, 3/22/2012)