Fri. Feb 28th, 2020

Universities create an Anti-Corruption and Transparency Center in Ecuador



Several universities in Ecuador together with private sector organizations and public institutions created this Tuesday the Ecuadorian Center for Anticorruption Excellence (CEEA), an initiative that seeks to generate a culture of transparency, ethics and accountability.

The universities SEK, of the Americas, San Francisco de Quito, del Azuay, Espiritu Santo and the Institute of High National Studies joined with the Ecuadorian Consortium for Social Responsibility (Ceres) to create this Academic Center.

The sponsorship came from the Canadian Embassy in Ecuador, which created a similar center in Ottawa, which generates academic knowledge about good practices to fight corruption and generate a culture of transparency.

This was stated by the Canadian ambassador to Quito, Sylvie Bedard, during the signing ceremony of the agreement to create the Center for Anti-Corruption Excellence, held at one of the SEK University campuses in the Ecuadorian capital.

“The Government of Canada is committed to contributing to fostering a culture of honesty, both at home and internationally,” Bedard added, noting that this is an important aspect of his government’s public policy and business conduct of companies. Canadians

For the ambassador, “the collaboration of all sectors of society is essential to win this great battle” against corruption.

Nadia Rodríguez, rector of the SEK University, highlighted the commitment that teachers and authorities of the universities involved have made on this initiative, as well as the directors of the Ceres that promoted this approach.

Rodríguez commented that the Anti-Corruption Center of Excellence emerges as a necessity to study in depth the phenomenon of corruption, but also to create a culture of transparency in Ecuadorian society.

He said that the Canadian embassy and the Ceres corporation will be guarantors of the academic quality of the Center of Excellence, which also aims to become a source of information to support the public sector.

Evangelina Gómez, Director of Ceres, said that in order to effectively fight corruption it is required that the academy generate spaces for debate, as well as permanently train the private sector and “sow an ethical and transparent culture in young people”.

Therefore, for her, “the Ecuadorian Center for Anticorruption Excellence is a milestone in the fight against corruption in the country,” which could well be replicated in other nations that suffer from the same evil.

On his side, the Ecuadorian Vice President, Otto Sonnenholzner, who participated in the ceremony, highlighted the relationship reached by public and private institutions, along with the academy, to achieve an important goal such as the creation of the Anti-Corruption Center of Excellence.

Sonnenholzner said that corruption is a negative phenomenon that has been relativized in Ecuadorian society, so he stressed the important role of the academic center created today.

In Ecuador, he said, “important steps have been taken” against corruption and that is observed – as he said – in the latest report of Transparency International, which records an improvement in its rating to Ecuador.

He even accepted that currently in his country “there is corruption”, but said that the Government has made efforts to combat the causes and improve the processes to avoid this phenomenon.

He commented, for example, that to combat corruption in the free delivery of medicines in hospitals and assistance centers of the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS), the Government prepares a plan for doctors to load their prescriptions to accounts that patients They can redeem in private pharmacies.

He also mentioned another program to simplify bureaucratic procedures in the country (about 7,000 procedures of all kinds are registered), since he said that corruption problems have also occurred there.

Ecuador has “a great challenge” and a “responsibility to develop a culture of transparency, ethics and accountability,” as an “essential factor for the development of society,” said Sonnenholzner.

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