Donors want media to battle corruption

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Aid donors urged the government to encourage the press to help fight corruption, which they said at a meeting Thursday was one of their biggest concerns.

Despite the government’s commitment to fighting corruption, the issue remained a deterrent to foreign investment, Swedish ambassador Rolf Bergman said at the annual donor summit in Hanoi.

Corruption had also created a barrier between local residents and access to key public services including healthcare and education, Bergman said.

Donors said fighting corruption should not be considered only the government’s responsibility and should instead be thought of as a universal duty.

The United Nations said governments must “own” the battle against corruption, but including other groups would make it more effective.

“Broadening the scope for collaboration and involvement of non-state actors such as the media, mass organizations and individuals makes anti-corruption efforts more effective,” it said in its report to the Consultative Group summit.

Sweden, current president of the European Union, said Vietnam must allow the media to “scrutinize the power.”

Speaking at the meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the government was taking measures to fight corruption, focusing on administrative reforms.

The government would make it possible for the press and the public to join the battle, Dung said, according to local news website VietNamNet.

In response to question on restrictions on the Internet, the Prime Minister said Internet and the media in Vietnam are managed “in accordance with the nation’s laws and the will and expectations of the Vietnamese people.”

Source: Thanh Nien, Reuters

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