The 17th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), a biennial meeting of world leaders, experts and activists, opens today in Panama City with a call to end impunity for the corrupt and to clean up the international financial system.
With the theme Time for Justice: Equality, Security, Trust, the conference, which attracts more than 1,500 people from all over the world will be opened by the President of the Republic of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez.
A major focus of the conference will be the role of intermediaries like lawyers and bankers play in helping the corrupt hide illicit wealth as well as the importance of investigative journalists in uncovering corruption and corrupt money flows, as highlighted by the publication of the Panama Papers earlier this year.
José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International, said:
“We want to shine an even stronger light on what we the anti-corruption community, business and governments are up against everywhere, every day, in our fight against corruption: the illicit financial networks that flourish in secrecy, facilitated by a façade of legal entities that mask the true identities of the corrupt.
“We want to discuss ways to end the quasi legal frameworks that give a sheen of legitimacy to the global network of enablers that hide and launder the ill-gotten wealth of the corrupt.
“We do this in the name of the citizens who lose out on hospitals, good schools and infrastructure because the money was siphoned off by the corrupt and used to buy luxury real estate and luxury good."
The four-day conference includes more than 40 workshop and 5 plenaries. Speakers include:
- Iván Velásquez, Commissioner, International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala
- Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, United Nations
- Maria Soledad Pérez Tello, Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Peru
- Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations
- Salil Shetty, Secretary General, Amnesty International.
On 3 December there will be the announcement of the winners of:
- The 2016 Anti-Corruption Award from a short list of four, and
- The 2016 Latin American Investigative Journalism Award
The International Anti-Corruption Conference is also hosting the Colpin Latin American Investigative Journalism Conference. The Films for Transparency festival will feature 16 screenings in 3 venues in Panama City.
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