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Simon Hughes calls on Liberals around the world to focus on fighting economic and political corruption

October 21, 2012 9:11 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

He also called on all Liberals around the world to focus on fighting corruption in the corporate world as well as the public sector to build sustainable growth.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Liberal International Congress Simon Hughes said:

"Remember as liberals what our core values are:

A passionate commitment to the rule of law, equally applied to all, the powerful and the weak, the rich and poor;

A passionate commitment to the rights of all human beings to freedom of expression;

And a passionate commitment to economic and social justice.

The majority of people on the planet live in places where inequality is greater than a generation ago.

From the beginning, Liberals knew that we could not fight injustice, corruption, violence and ignorance without working together across countries, and in today's world of global financial markets and global communications this is truer than ever.

We will not be able to end poverty in Africa as long as banks in Europe allow corrupt politicians in Africa to launder money through them.

We will not end conflict worldwide if we do not have strong controls worldwide on the arms trade and conflict financing.

In this city of Abidjan one of the worst environmental and economic crimes was committed when toxic waste from a European company was dumped here and 100,000 people had to seek medical attention.

And it was in my city, London, where these crimes were exposed and justice sought and obtained.

At the start of the 21st century, a liberal economy in both developed countries and developing countries must take on corruption in the public sector and the corporate sector, and must take on inequality and vested interests if we are allow everybody to benefit from our shared resources.

So all Liberals must go home to our own countries and work harder for greater equality for all people, particularly minorities who are discriminated against on the grounds of their faith, ethnicity, race or sexuality; work harder for a reduction in inequality of income and wealth, and work harder to end corruption of governments and social irresponsibility by private companies."