The Transparency International (TI) Asia Pacific Regional Programme Meeting was opened on Monday, 18 May in Canberra by Australian Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, Bob McMullan at a reception at Parliament House.
The Regional Programme Meeting brought together representatives from all 21 national chapters and chapters-in-formation in the Asia Pacific to address operational and content-based anti-corruption issues, and to explore synergies and shared interests in the region.
Mr McMullen announced the increased opportunities for TI the Australian Government through the signature of a Partnership Framework in Anti-corruption in Asia Pacific between the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and TI.
This Partnership Framework identifies common objectives and opportunities for information sharing and consultation, and outlines a common vision for a strong anti-corruption movement in the Asia Pacific region, a strong demand for transparent and accountable government and reduced corruption in the region, and a reputable source for corruption knowledge and diagnostics.
Cobus de Swardt, TI Managing Director, lauded the Australian government for its efforts in anti-corruption at home and in the region, citing Australia’s active work on the UN Convention against Corruption, the OECD Anti-bribery Convention, and the APEC processes. He highlighted the need for Australia to continue to take a leading role in anti-corruption work in the region, and emphasised the need to work together with other countries to strengthen governance and integrity, particularly in the context of the current global recession.
Pascal Fabie, TI Regional Director for Asia Pacific, acknowledged the important role of AusAID in the region and said “the Partnership Framework represents a significant step forward in the relationship between AusAID and TI in realising our common goals to fight corruption in the Asia Pacific region”.
The five-year partnership highlights several areas for Transparency International and AusAID collaboration in Asia Pacific, including:
- building civil society capacity against corruption;
- developing frameworks and mechanisms to analyse and monitor corruption;
- building citizen and youth participation in anti-corruption; and
- tackling corruption in priority sectors.
AusAID and Transparency International have also committed to exploring various opportunities for increased consultation and information sharing.
“Over the next few weeks after the regional meeting, TI will be in close dialogue with AusAID about the next steps in implementing the Partnership Framework to ensure that it has a concrete effect on the anti-corruption work in the region. It has the potential to make a significant contribution to the effectiveness of Australian aid, given the detrimental effect of corruption on development”, Pascal Fabie said.
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