The 17th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) with the theme Time for Justice: Equity, Security, Trust concluded today in Panama City with a call for people all over the world to come together with activists, governments, business and the media to defeat corruption and hold them to account in an era where integrity and truth are under attack.
Now more than ever before the space for civil society and those who speak up against corruption must be defended.
The conference highlighted the plight of both groups and individuals. This included a call:
- to join together to support public prosecutors in Brazil where new legislation threatens their work.
- to protect for Joe Moses, an activist from Papua New Guinea who came out of hiding to attend the conference only to be harassed on the way before he finally arrived; and
- to release Ekke Ornstein, a Dutch journalist imprisoned in Panama for writing about corruption, and all journalists jailed to silence their voices,
In the home of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers, anti-corruption activists called for an end to the illicit networks that secrecy jurisdictions foster. Although the complexity of these global networks is now better understood because of diligent investigative journalism, the means and the political will to end them remain a challenge.
The final declaration proclaimed:
The time for action is now. We must partner with all anti-corruption champions and well-minded business. Together we will strengthen our web of anti-corruption activists. Together, the public sector, business and civil society will hold the corrupt to account.
“The anti-corruption movement is part of the global partnership to support the values of integrity and honesty in a world that is turning its back on truth. We need to expose the illegal networks that enable grand corruption and illicit wealth, and allow the corrupt to enjoy the benefits of their crimes,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.
“The powerful and rich must be held to high standards and ethical values. Standards like, justice, truth and equity,” said Akere Muna, Chair of the IACC.
The 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference will be held in 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The conference will promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals with the goal of developing concrete actions for fighting corruption and improving living conditions in developing countries.
Note to Editors: Over four days, more than 1,600 people from 130 countries gathered in Panama to assess the global fight against corruption in more than 40 workshops and 5 plenary debates. A full report on these activities will be available at IACCseries.org soon.
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