Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Anwar Ibrahim telah dilantik Presiden AccountAbility

Malaysia Today

Penasihat Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, telah secara rasmi dilantik sebagai Presiden Kehormat AccountAbility, sebuah ‘think tank’ antarabangsa pada 30 Mac 2006 lalu.

Dalam ucapan pembukaannya, beliau memperkenalkan pamplet pertama AccountAbility yang menggariskan kepentingan pertanggungjawaban (accountability), Anwar menegaskan bahawa defisit pertanggungjawaban membawa kepada permasalahan sosial, alam sekitar dan ekonomi, yang terkesan ke atas semua individu pada hari ini dan pada masa akan datang.

Anwar juga sedar bahawa cabaran yang dihadapi oleh kerajaan-kerajaan, perniagaan dan masyarakat madani di serata dunia dalam menunaikan tuntutan. Dia mengakui bahawa banyak kerja yang perlu dilakukan bagi menggerakkan agen-agen ini untuk menjadi benar-benar bertanggungjawab dalam menangani isu-isu seperti kemiskinan, urustadbir, alam sekitar dalam bahaya.

Bagi mewujudkan abad kedua puluh satu yang semua akan merasa bangga dengannya, Anwar mencadangkan idea mencipta semula visi dan amalan pertanggungjawaban, yang amat penting dalam mengatasi kegagalan agen-agen dalam hal pertanggungjawaban di masa lampau dan itu tetap menjadi cabaran besar.

Selain daripada mengenalpasti dan meluaskan inovasi pertanggungjawaban, yang boleh menjadi efektif dalam menangani dilema dan cabaran, Anwar juga menekankan perlunya mencabar jalan-jalan pertanggungjawaban yang sedia ada, yang tidak berkesan atau sejajar dengan kepentingan dan matlamat yang salah.

Melihat kepada perlunya pertanggungjawaban bagi mentamadunkan kuasa, Anwar mengulangi komitmennya dalam menyumbang kepada matlamat AccountAbility dalam menyediakan suara global mengenai pertanggungjawaban.

Anwar juga mempertahankan pendiriannya memerangi korupsi dalam peranan barunya, selepas melalui apa yang berlaku kepada Malaysia apabila kerajaan kurang pertanggungjawaban dalam krisis ekonomi dalam tahun 1997. Usaha gighnya menentang korupsi dalam kerajaan diteruskan selepas menjalani enam tahun hukuman penjara.

Mengenai AccountAbility:

AccountAbility ialah sebuah institusi ‘non-profit’ antarabangsa yang berusaha menegakkan tuntutan ke atas kuasa organisasi dengan pertanggungjawaban. Ia beroperasi sebagai ‘ think tank’, badan penyelidikan dan pemaju piawaian (standards developer).

Penyelidikan AccountAbility yang terbaru telah memfokus kepada perkara-perkara termasuk pelaburan, melobi secara bertanggungjawab dan persaingan yang bertanggungjawab.

Disertakan di bawah teks ucapan Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim selepas dilantik sebagai Presiden Kehormat AccountAbility pada 30 Mac 2006.

30 March 2006
Anwar Ibrahim AccountAbility's Honorary President

It gives me great pleasure in my new role as AccountAbility's Honorary President to introduce this first pamphlet of AccountAbility's exploration of the nature and importance of accountability, and its possible futures as we move into the 21st century.

This is an auspicious moment to initiate such an exploration. Whatever one looks is the world, accountability deficits are compounding or creating deeply-rooted social, environmental and economic problems. These deficits are directly affecting the lives of every person, today and into the future.

There is no obvious island of integrity from which to point the finger. Governments, businesses and civil society in every part of the globe face profound challengers in meeting their obligations. There is much work to be done to move these agents beyond mere rhetoric to becoming truly accountable for their part in addressing issues such as poverty, governance, environmental insecurity.

Whilst there are many blueprints for a better world, it is in practice immensely difficult to operationalise the concepts and ideals that will ensure those with power are effectively held to account by those without. Conflicting, overlapping and intertwined interests have outwitted most of our 20 th century attempts to build successful approaches to the challenges of public, private and non-profit sector governance. Paradoxically, the proliferation of NGOs around the world is as much a sign of the failure of many of our modern governance institutions as it is an exciting development in how we manage our affairs.

Innovating our vision and practice of accountability is perhaps our greatest challenge and most pressing need. Certainly we can and must learn from the past, and draw energy from today initiatives. But replastering the walls of our fractured institutions is unlikely to suffice. Our challenge is to reinvent accountability in order to create a 21 st century that we can be proud of, and not merely a century through which we are able to survive.

There are literally millions of agents of accountability, spanning auditors to human rights activists, whose daily work it to advance some form of accountability. Sadly the work of many accountability agents does not serve the broader needs of people and the planet, but rather supports and protects narrow interests. Even where its does seek to serve a wider purpose, accountability is too often compartmentalized by issue, such as anti-corruption, climate change and labour standards. As a result, we fail to cross-fertilize effectively and so fail to reach a scale of impact that can make a real difference.

Our task must be to catalyze and advance innovation and learning that inform a new generation of accountability practice. We must identify and amplify accountability innovations that could be effective in addressing shared dilemmas and challenges. And we must challenge existing accountability pathways that do not work or are aligned towards the wrong interests and ends.

Accountability after all must exist to civilize power and must always look introspectively as much as it projects.

My commitment to this agenda underpins my reason for accepting the role of AccountAbility's first Honorary President. By contributing to its goal of providing a global voice on accountability, I hope to be one amongst many who will associate themselves with this growing movement that cuts across traditional boundaries and barriers to collaboration.

I commend this pamphlet. It provokes us to open ourselves to the richness and extraordinary relevance of experience that should inform our own work. It maps out some part of the wealth of individuals and organizations that together make up an undeclared movement of accountability. In doing so it serve as a compass, showing us where the need is greatest and pointing us in a direction that will lead to the constructive debate and dialogue that will inspire a brighter future.

Anwar Ibrahim
Honorary President, AccountAbility


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