Ambassador Kosnett’s Remarks at the Premiere of Anti-Corruption Documentary

Ambassador Kosnett’s Remarks at the Premiere of Anti-Corruption Documentary, December 10, 2018

I am delighted to welcome you all to the premiere showing of “Corruption: No One Is Above the Law.”  We hope this film will inspire you to find new ways to fight corruption.  Everyone here in the audience and watching at home, every individual and every organization has an obligation to act with integrity, expose corrupt practices, and submit to justice.  This is true whether you hold public office, conduct business in the private sector, play a role in civil society, or even work in the media.  Everyone has a part to play in shining a light on corruption. I would like to thank all of the senior officials who are here this evening—I’m not going to name anybody because there are so many very important ministers and judges and others here, that I am sure I will miss a name. It says a lot about your commitment to fighting corruption that you are here with us this evening.

I would like to acknowledge Fidan Rama and Laurat Gashi, the journalist and cameraman who, together with the Embassy’s own Nori Haxhibeqiri, traveled across the United States to bring us the story of how law enforcement, civil society, and the media work together to fight corruption in American communities.

You will see from this film, ladies and gentlemen, that there are many ways to fight corruption.  Innovation and creativity are key components in battling corruption in all its forms.  In Kosovo, individuals from law enforcement and civil society are already engaged in this critical work.  We must recognize that we cannot just sit back and wait for corrupt individuals to change their behavior, and we cannot wait for others to fight the problem for us.

We hope you will be inspired by the individuals in this documentary who were proactive in fighting corruption.  You will see how they developed a plan to tackle corruption head on, and the moral courage and time commitment they invested to achieve justice.  It required vision, commitment, and sacrifice.  Exposing and putting in jail corrupt people is hard work, and in the communities of Chicago, New York, and Seattle, justice prevailed because a few dedicated individuals were committed to the ideal of combating corruption.

We hope this film will prompt discussion among activists in civil society, lawmakers, and public officials, as well as judges and prosecutors.  Your discussions, in turn, I hope, will lead to concrete action here in Kosovo.  The film highlights some common practices used to fight corruption in United States, and we hope that seeing stories of how law enforcement investigated tax evasion and confiscated illegally obtained assets will inspire similar action here, especially as your Assembly recently passed key legislation to help your institutions undertake these types of actions.

So please, join me, and be inspired by the heroes of this documentary who made a difference through their dedication and vision of a society based on good governance and rule-of-law.

In closing, let me just say, I think we should make every week of the year anti-corruption week. Faleminderit. Hvala.