Shemaine Bushnell Kyriakides
In honor of International Anti-Corruption Day, celebrated each year on December 9th, US Ambassador to Cyprus, Judith Garber, presented Green Party MP Alexandra Attalides with a certificate acknowledging her work in fighting corruption in Cyprus.
Ms. Attalides is one of 12 individuals from around the world, that have been honored by the US Department of State for their leadership, courage, and their impact in combating corruption.
I believe that this award highlights the unfortunate presence and the extent of corruption in my country and the insufficient efforts to combat it. -Attalides
Before handing her the certificate, Ambassador Garber praised Mrs. Attalides saying that "Her work as a political activist, and now as an elected representative, has led to a growing consensus that abuses of public power should not be tolerated and must be stopped. In part due to her efforts, anti-corruption reform initiatives are now at the forefront of the political conversation in Cyprus and the forefront of Parliament’s legislative agenda".
Mrs. Attalides, in turn, thanked the Ambassador, saying that, "The prize, an initiative of the Biden administration, once more underlines the mission the United States of America has undertaken in promoting and defending democracy which includes combating corruption".
Although thrilled to receive the award, Mrs. Attalides said that the award underlines the corruption in Cyprus, "I believe that this award highlights the unfortunate presence and the extent of corruption in my country and the insufficient efforts to combat it. I hope that it will spur our government to more effective measures to combat it". She also associated the corruption in Cyprus with "hampering the effort for an agreed solution to the Cyprus Problem".
Ambassador Garber, in her earlier remarks, pointed out, "Fighting against authoritarianism, corruption, and human rights abuses are core American values. They form the foundation of President Biden’s foreign policy, and are not only essential elements for American security and prosperity but are fundamental for maintaining peace and security in societies around the world".
International Anti-Corruption Day, celebrated every year since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31 October 2003, aims to raise public awareness of the corruption that exists in societies all over the world. It also seeks to highlight the rights and responsibilities of everyone - including States, Government officials, civil servants, law enforcement officers, media representatives, the private sector, civil society, academia, the public and youth - in tackling corruption.