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Supporting Anti-Corruption Efforts in Nicaragua

Ambassador Roger F. Noriega
Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) Introductory Remarks of President Bolaños of Nicaragua
Remarks to Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Conference on Corporate Social Governance
Miami, Florida
September 23, 2002

The important task of this conference is to focus on the role of corporations in helping our people from all walks of life to build better lives for themselves and their communities through their own initiative and energy.

However, it must be said that our governments must do their part by creating an environment within which private commerce and free people can flourish. Sometimes, frankly, the best thing government can do is get out of the way.

  • But governments have essential and inescapable responsibilities. To name a few:
  • Respecting and imposing the rule of law;
  • Ensuring a level playing field for trade and investment – both domestic and foreign;
  • Transacting government business in a transparent and open way; and
  • Imposing rational taxes and reasonable regulation in a predictable manner.

Our speaker is one of a new generation of presidents in the Americas that is committed to meeting these responsibilities.

During the past three decades, President Bolaños’ tireless defense of these very principles has landed him on the wrong side of a couple of dictatorships. Today, his principles have put him on the right side of the struggle against poverty and cynicism.

President Bolaños has vowed to govern under Nicaragua’s constitution.

He counts on the solidarity of the OAS member states, under our new Inter-American Democratic Charter, which fortifies democracy and the rule of law.

His Government has asked that Nicaragua be among the first countries to be evaluated under the OAS Convention Against Corruption.

And, President Bolaños insists that his government live by another rule: Thou shalt not steal.

He is a leader known for his fierce defense of the rights of the private sector during the rule of a communist regime.

He denounced corruption, when some of his political allies would have preferred that he look the other way.

Enrique Bolaños is known for his wisdom, his integrity, and yes, his stubborn determination to do what he knows is best for Nicaragua.

Today, President Bolaños must mobilize the forces within Nicaragua that are genuinely committed to peaceful change, democratic reform, honest government, and jobs created by a free market.

Nicaragua’s poor – of which there are too, too many – demand that their nation’s leaders put aside the narrow interests of politicians or parties and to build a society in which all Nicaraguans can claim their fair share of economic opportunity.

Nicaragua’s politicians must decide. The choice is not between one political party or another. The choice is between the past or the future, between right and wrong.

President Enrique Bolaños has heard the call of the people, and he has earned the support and confidence of all friends of democracy and the free market.

Ladies and gentlemen: please welcome our friend, Enrique Bolaños, President of the Republic of Nicaragua.

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September 30, 2002

 

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