Transparency International urges action from Russian President and G8 chair
Transparency International Chair Huguette Labelle and other civil society leaders met on 4 July with Russian President Vladimir Putin to make recommendations on what he and the Group of Eight industrialised nations can do to promote accountability and fight corruption.
Labelle pointed to the devastating effects of corruption, particularly on the poor, and discussed initiatives for combating it, such as the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials, transparency in the oil and gas sectors, and strong, transparent public financial management systems, for an efficient and equitable use of resources. Labelle made the point that eliminating extreme poverty is predicated on the fight against corruption and that achievement of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals is unrealistic without it.
“We underlined that corruption not only siphons off extraordinary sums of money; corruption kills,” said Labelle. “On behalf of the Transparency International movement, I invited Mr Putin to lead the so-called “BRIC” countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China - in voluntarily adopting the provisions of the OECD Convention. I also brought home the importance of universal G8 support for monitoring the Convention’s enforcement.”
The group, which included the leaders of Oxfam, Greenpeace, Human Rights Watch, CIVICUS and Amnesty International, presented Putin with a communiqué on issues of governance, energy security and climate change, human security, poverty and development, and civil society freedom and accountability.
Labelle proposed that Russia join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in light of the impending initial public offering of state-owned oil company Rosneft. Participants also emphasised the need to ensure that civil society in Russia was not unduly burdened by the country’s recent law on civil society organisations.
The meeting came on the heels of the Civil G8 forum, a more expansive conference with more than 600 representatives of international and Russian organisations. That conference also produced recommendations for the G8 that were put to Putin at a plenary session earlier in the day.
Transparency International is the civil society organisation leading the global fight against corruption.
Notes to editors
Transparency International was joined in the meeting by Action Aid International, Amnesty International, CIVICUS, World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Consumers International, Global Call for Action Against Poverty, Global Campaign for Education, Greenpeace, Human Rights Watch, International Council of Women, Oxfam, Social Watch and World Wide Fund for Nature.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is a voluntary programme that supports improved governance in resource-rich countries through the full publication and verification of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining.
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