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Lack of action on corruption threatens poverty alleviation and climate change measures, says TI

Calls on Medvedev to demonstrate, at the G8 summit, his stated commitment to fighting corruption

Read the Japanese version of this press release.

A lack of follow-through on anti-corruption commitments by the Group of Eight (G8) is further undermining essential poverty goals, as well as threatening environmental measures, warned Transparency International on the eve of the 2008 Toyako Hokkaido Summit.

“Vulnerable communities across the world continue to pay the price for corruption in basic services denied, public resources depleted and institutions subverted by greed,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International. “The G8, as the world’s most powerful economies, have a golden opportunity to ensure that no further generation is lost to corruption and poverty, and that the world is armed to manage the human dimension of climate change, possibly the greatest governance challenge it has ever faced.”

Referring to its recently published G8 Progress Report, Transparency International noted the commitments on corruption made at the past six summits, and in particular at Glenneagles in 2005 and Heiligendamm in 2007. The anti-corruption network was looking to the Japanese G8 Presidency for the next big step forward on a defined set of issues, including clamping down on foreign bribery, strengthening the global legal framework against corruption, repatriating stolen public assets and increasing transparency in the oil and gas sector.

“We welcome the Japanese government’s commitment to have the G8 report back publicly on progress made to-date on anti-corruption commitments,” said Tatsuro Kuroda, Chair of Transparency International Japan. “And we urge them to go further and chart out a clear and decisive course for future global action on corruption. The complex problems before us, from stalled democracies, to inadequate health and education services for billions, demand nothing less.”

Noting Russian President Medvedev’s call-to-arms on corruption, delivered before the Russian Federation Council on Wednesday, 2 July, TI Chair Labelle remarked, “We welcome Medvedev’s strong words on corruption. We hope that he will use the G8 platform to push strongly for international action. Good governance begins at home, but it certainly doesn’t end there. Corruption knows no borders and demands global solutions.”

Transparency International is looking to the G8 to see further action on:

Combating foreign bribery:

  • The response of several G8 members, including the UK and Japan to overseas bribery by their companies, has been inadequate.

Global legal framework against corruption:

  • The United Nations Convention against Corruption, the only truly global tool of its kind, remains unratified by last year’s, this year’s and next year’s G8 presidents - Germany, Japan and Italy -, despite repeated communiqué pledges to do so “without delay”.

Safeguarding financial markets and institutions against abuse:

  • The G8 must do more to ensure that the global financial markets, major financial centres and institutions, as well as offshore centres are not abused to move, store, launder or invest the proceeds of corruption.

Ensure transparency in oil, gas & mining:

  • Corruption in the extractive industries keeps resource wealth in the hands of an elite few and extractives companies. Detailed, thorough reporting by companies and host countries must become standard. Programmes such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative form a strong framework and should be supported materially and through membership by the G8.

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Media contact:

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


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