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Global Voices call for G20 Action on Corruption

Click around the map to see comments from our global movement to the G20

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As leaders of G20 members arrive in St Petersburg for the G20 Summit on 5-6 September, civil society voices across the world are calling for one thing: action.

All G20 pledges must be accompanied by legislation, policies and practices that are strong, implemented and monitored.

Critical issues have already been identified. Implementation and monitoring are key.Without tackling corruption, the G20 risks its credibility and legitimacy."

- Natalia Soebagjo, Chair of Transparency International Indonesia

They should make sure that their words are not different from their actions."

- Elena Panfilova, Executive Director, Transparency International Russia.

The G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan 2013-2014 is at its half-way point. Some positive developments in the last year include Saudi Arabia ratifying the UN Convention against Corruption, China becoming the final G20 member to sign the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and the G8’s commitment to developing national action plans to address secrecy in shell company structures. The European Union has also passed strong transparency legislation calling for the extractives industries to report on more indicators on a country-by-country and project-by-project nature.

Going forward, Transparency International wants to see:

  • Public registers of the ultimate, “beneficial” owners of companies
  • Global extractive industry transparency laws in line with the European Union legislation
  • Stronger enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention
  • No impunity for corrupt officials

We would like to see a commitment from all G20 members to introduce and enforce laws that are compatible with the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.”

– Robert Barrington, Executive Director of Transparency International UK.

There is a need for a strong commitment to end impunity in cases of corruption.”

– Pablo Secchi, Executive Director Poder Ciudadano, Transparency International Argentina.

Elected or non-elected, public officials should not enjoy immunity when charged with corruption offenses.”

– E. Oya Özarslan, Chair of Şeffaflık Derneği, Transparency International Turkey.

The role of civil society

Genuine engagement with civil society is an essential component of transparency and anti-corruption agendas. The G20 represents more than two thirds of the global population. Transparency international was encouraged by the establishment of the first ever Civil 20 process. Australia will continue this next year under its presidency.

We hope the G20 leaders hear these voices and open the space for genuine and meaningful participation of civil society in their meetings.”

– Nicole Verillo, AMARRIBO Brasil.

Drawing on these civil society voices, Transparency International has drafted its own “ideal G20 St Petersburg Communiqué” which if adopted, would address the key issues of concern with concrete pledges followed by concerted action.

Follow G20Voices during the summit and contribute your voice using the #G20Voices hashtag. We can make a difference!

Role of civil society in fighting corruption

Russia recently introduced a law that limits the ability of civil society to engage in important debates about corruption and the rule of law. If organisations receive funding from outside of Russia and engage in what the law loosely calls political activity, they must register as “foreign agents”, a term that is commonly understood as “spy” in Russian.

After police raids on thousands of organisations, the authorities brought proceedings against many, including Transparency International Russia. TI Russia is appealing a recent Moscow court ruling that said if it mentions the topic of corruption that was deemed political. If convicted under the new law, NGOs face suspension and substantial fines.

Transparency International strongly believes that it is crucial that governments differentiate direct services, advocacy and policy work from engagement in political campaigns. Civil society holds governments to account and works in the interest of the people. TI Russia’s work, for example, supports the Russian government’s commitments to fighting corruption. As such, we call for the repeal of this legislation and the creation of an environment which enables all NGOs to continue to do their important work.


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