An anti-bribery watchdog has said corruption played a key role in the political upheaval in the Middle East and across the world in 2011.
Transparency International said the protests indicated that citizens wanted leaders and institutions to be more transparent and accountable.
In its annual report, the agency ranked New Zealand, Denmark and Finland as the least corrupt among 183 countries.
Meanwhile, Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan were ranked most corrupt.
"This year we have seen corruption on protesters'' banners be they rich or poor," said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.
"Whether in a Europe hit by debt crisis or an Arab world starting a new political era, leaders must heed the demands for better government."
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