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G8 falling short on keeping commitments to fight corruption

Leaders must account for their progress at the 2008 Summit, says Transparency International G8 Progress Report

On the eve of the Hokkaido Toyako G8 Summit, Transparency International (TI) today issued its second annual G8 Progress Report, assessing G8 action on key commitments to reduce corruption and concluding that G8 performance falls short of the mark with profound adverse consequences for the global anti-corruption agenda as well as broader G8 goals.

Despite their commitment to stem foreign bribery and its distorting effects on competition and development, Canada, Japan and the UK have failed to demonstrate enforcement of their foreign bribery laws and the UK law is still inadequate. Unless there is vigorous enforcement by all major exporting nations, bribes will continue to undermine development and the credibility of those demanding much needed good governance from others will be compromised if they cannot put their own house in order.

G8 Leaders have also committed to ratify and implement the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Over 100 countries have ratified the agreement, increasing its potential to provide an effective global framework for combating corruption. Yet, Germany, Italy and Japan have still not taken action. The G8 have also committed to supporting creation of an effective follow up mechanism, which will be necessary to secure global implementation, legal cooperation and consistency of application. To date, there is still strong resistance to such a mechanism, increasing the need for their attention.

With growing concern about energy security and about ensuring that the benefits of national resources flow to all citizens, the G8 Leaders’ commitment to fight corruption and foster transparency in resource management, including through support for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is particularly urgent. Transparency of revenues and expenditures from natural resources is vital for citizens to hold their governments accountable for their use as is protection for those civil society organizations monitoring governments. EITI merits support and participation by all G8 members.

G8 Leaders have committed to take steps to ensure that the global financial markets implement the highest international transparency standards and other measures to protect against criminal abuse. With ample evidence that the system is misused for corrupt purposes, the G8 must intensify efforts to promote greater transparency in cross border capital flows and to better coordinate controls to deter and detect the illicit transfer of funds through the global financial system.

TI national chapters in the G8 countries, who developed the Report, call on the G8 Leaders to provide a report with a rigorous self-assessment of their implementation of past commitments, with benchmarks and timetables for future progress, when they convene next week in Japan.

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Download the TI 2008 G8 Progress Report here.

Media contacts:

Transparency International Spokesperson Jesse Garcia will be on site at the G8 Summit International Media Centre from 6 to 9 July.

To contact experts in G8 countries:

Canada:
Transparency International Canada Inc.
c/o Business Ethics Office - N211
Schulich School of Business
York University
4700 Keele Street North York, ON M3J 1P3
T: +1 416-488-3939
Fax: +1 416-483-5128
www.transparency.ca
Bronwyn Best, Executive Director
Japan:
Transparency International Japan
5A Taiyo building
1-10 Wakaba
Shinjuku-ku
Tokyo 160-0011
Japan
T: +81-3-5368-1691
Fax: +81-3-5368-1692
www.ti-j.org
Tatsuro Kuroda, Chair
France
Transparence-International (France)
2, bis rue de Villiers
92300 Levallois-Perret
T: +33 01 47 58 82 08
Fax: +33 01 47 58 82 08
www.transparence-france.org
Daniel Lebègue, Chair
Russia
Center for Anti-Corruption Research and Initiative
Transparency International Russia
Nikoloyamskaya ul. 1
109189 Moscow
Russia
T: +7-495-915 0019
Fax: +7-495-915 0019
www.transparency.org.ru
Elena A. Panfilova, Director
Germany
Transparency International Deutschland
Alte Schönhauser Str. 44
10119 Berlin
Germany
T: +49-30-549898-0
Fax: +49-30-549898-22
www.transparency.de
Sylvia Schenk, Chair
United Kingdom
Transparency International UK
3rd Floor
Downstream Building
1 London Bridge
London SE1 9BG
UK
T: +44 20 7785 6356
Fax: +44 20 7785 6355
www.transparency.org.uk
Laurence Cockcroft, Chair
Italy
Transparency International Italia
Via Zamagna 19
20148 Milano
Italy
T: +39-02-4009 3560
Fax: +39-02-406829
www.transparency.it
Maria Teresa Brassiolo, Chair
United States
Transparency International-USA
1023 15th Street, NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005
T: +1 202-589-1616
Fax: +1 202 589-1512
www.transparency–usa.org
Nancy Z. Boswell, President & CEO


For any press enquiries please contact

Japan:
Jesse Garcia
T: +81 90 9967 6076
E: jgarcia@transparency.org

Berlin:
Nadja Kostka
T: +49-30-34-38-20-666
Fax: +49-30-34-70-3912
E: nkostka@transparency.org