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Warning on G8 complicity

African and G8 anti-corruption campaigners speak out

On the eve of the arrival of African heads of state to the G8 Summit, anti-corruption campaigners spanning the north-south divide speak out on G8 complicity in corruption in Africa and the role it has in perpetuating poverty and inequity.

As a network dedicated to fighting corruption in the Group of Eight industrialised nations (G8) and in Africa, we ask that the leaders of the G8 act on specific commitments to better governance and to fighting corruption in and for Africa as they meet in Heiligendamm on 6-8 June 2007. While some positive action has been taken since the 2005 Gleneagles summit, G8 promises to double aid must be kept and anti-corruption commitments, essential to assure it is used effectively, must also be kept.

G8 must not make itself complicit

The G8 also has a special responsibility to ensure that its policies and the behaviour of its companies do not make it complicit in corruption, which undermines the best efforts of African countries to fight corruption and improve governance.

Stop the supply side of corruption

In this spirit, we call on the G8 to make good on their many promises to stem the supply side of bribery, to ensure that G8-based multinationals can no longer bribe with impunity when doing business in Africa.

The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention commits its parties to criminalising and prosecuting instances of foreign bribery. Canada, Japan and the UK must step up their enforcement efforts under the Convention and Russia should adopt its provisions.

Refuse safe haven and help recover stolen monies

We call on the G8 to ensure that its financial markets and institutions are not complicit in managing the proceeds of corruption.

This entails cooperating with investigators in African countries to trace, freeze and return stolen assets. Those countries that have ratified the UN Convention against Corruption are obliged to do so.

There should be provisions for funds to be administered by a neutral third party, such as the African Development Bank.

Accountability is mutual

Transparency International recognises the principle of mutual accountability and, in making these recommendations to the G8, reminds African leaders of their commitments to anti-corruption and better governance under the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the African Union (AU) Anti-Corruption Convention and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). The G8 and international financial institutions must ensure that African leaders are not hampered in decision-making power over their own economies, good governance initiatives and anti-corruption efforts.

We ask that the governments of the G8 bear in mind that all efforts towards greater well-being and economic justice for the poorest - and even the challenges of climate change - will be unmanageable without good governance and markets free of corruption.

Signed,

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Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption.


For any press enquiries please contact

Jesse Garcia, Berlin / Heiligendamm
T: +49-30-3438 20667
Mobile: +49 162 419 6454
E: jgarcia@transparency.org