“Building integrity is a policy that has no alternative, a policy that will make us more powerful as a state. Integrity creates confidence and strong systems, which in times of crisis, yield results. We need to create a system of principles that will not depend on who is the Minister, and will be immune to any attempt at abuse of authority – said Minister of Defence Radmila Shekerinska on today’s opening of the Building Integrity Training for the MOD and ARM leadership.
The Integrity Building Training is organized by the Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with the United Kingdom, and lecturers are integrity-building experts from the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. The leadership of the Ministry of Defence and ARM is taking part in the training.
Minister Shekerinska said that the issue of transparency is related to the issue of integrity and that the fight against corruption requires a system that will create obstacles to any abuse of authority.
“I am pleased that we managed in a relatively short time to also create the part of the Ministry’s web site called “The public has the right to know”, because it really is so – the public has the right to know what we are doing with the strategic goals in the country, the public has the right to know what we are doing with the money that the citizens allocate and pay in the budget of Macedonia. Transparency is not always easy, it always comes with a certain price, but in the long run it always brings positive results”, Shekerinska noted.
The Minister concluded that although transparency will not always be applauded and that it will seem that she has made the day more complicated, it must be known that our task is not a hundred meters sprint, but a marathon, and in that marathon transparency is a better policy.
The Deputy Ambassador of the United Kingdom in the Republic of Macedonia, Paul Edwards, stressed that the integrity-building process requires a work culture where it will be clear to everyone that any decision taken on a daily basis should be for the benefit of all citizens, and not for a small number of the leadership. He added that integrity requires honesty and confronting corruption, while speaking the truth to the superiors is one of the elements of building a culture of integrity. Edwards expressed appreciation for the possibility of holding this important course for the leadership in the Ministry and noted that the United Kingdom will continue to support Macedonia in the implementation of these key defence reforms.
The integrity building training will run until Friday, and will cover lectures and exercises on several topics such as the behaviour of officials, leadership challenges and military-political risks, financial management, risks of corruption in the area of logistics and procurement, risks of corruption in human resources management, media and strategic communication, challenges from changes and the like.