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Concrete action must follow G8’s reiteration of anti-corruption commitments

Transparency International (TI) welcomes the G8 leaders strong pledge to uphold the highest standards of transparency and accountability with regards to the implementation of their anti-corruption commitments and urges swift action to obtain concrete results.

“While TI’s assessment and recommendations have been taken into account, without the full implementation of transparency and accountability measures by G8 countries, a root cause of the world’s worst economic crisis in decades will remain unresolved,” said Cobus de Swardt, Managing Director at TI. “Until the most economically powerful countries truly enforce their commitments, their political will remains doubtful.”

We welcome the G8’s commitment to ensure effective implementation of the United Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), including the development of an effective, transparent and inclusive review mechanism. Over 130 countries worldwide have ratified the Convention. However, three G8 members – Italy, Germany and Japan – have not yet ratified, which sends the wrong signal and raises serious doubts about the G8’s true commitment to fight corruption.

Ratification by these countries is of the utmost priority in light of the upcoming Conference of States Parties to be held in Doha in November, where countries will actually have an opportunity to take their political will from talk to action. Vigorous implementation of the UNCAC cannot take place as long as countries continue to provide safe haven for allegedly illicit assets. We welcome the G8’s commitment to deny safe haven to corrupt individuals and will actively monitor the G8’s delivery on this promise.

While the G8’s commitment to promote adherence to and enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and support of its permanent monitoring mechanism, is a welcome development, TI’s recently issued report on the convention shows that only two G8 members – Germany and the US- actively enforce it. With massive financial flows as part of the economic recovery moving rapidly through the financial system and markets fighting foreign bribery is particularly urgent. Thus the G8’s encouragement of other major economies to accede to the OECD Convention as soon as possible is timely.

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

Note to editors:
TI’s 2009 G8 Progress Report assesses G8 implementation of existing instruments to combat corruption.
TI’s report on the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention
TI statement on G20 Action plan and transparency


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