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OAS must fulfil commitments to anti-corruption convention, says Transparency International

The governments of the Americas must promptly fulfil the obligations they had undertaken to fight corruption by signing and ratifying the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC), according to Transparency International (TI), the civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption around the world.

"Now is the time for action. The Convention contains essential tools to combat corruption," said Silke Pfeiffer, TI's Regional Director for the Americas. "But these tools have to be correctly implemented by all member countries."

Speaking on the sidelines of the OAS General Assembly, Pfeiffer added, "Speeding up the schedule for country reviews and requiring annual progress reports on the implementation of the recommendations are important steps for the IACAC to become an effective force against corruption in the Americas."

Pfeiffer also called for guaranteed public access to information through publication of all Convention documents, and formal recognition of civil society at the committee's meetings. Transparency International proposed to the Assembly that each member government commit to report at the next Summit of the Americas (November 2005) on their progress in fulfilling the IACAC.

Thirty three of the 34 OAS member countries have ratified it.

Other recommendations by TI include: enhancing and ensuring the transparency of the Convention's follow-up mechanism to the international legal instrument; signing and ratifying the UN Convention Against Corruption; increasing the responsibility of legislative branches in implementing anti-corruption commitments; and ensuring the participation of civil society in anti-corruption efforts.

Transparency International has played an active role in OAS General Assemblies since 1994, pushing through anti-corruption recommendations and emphasising the need to promote, ratify and implement the IACAC. It also supported the development of the Convention's follow-up mechanism, and bolstered cooperation on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.


For any press enquiries please contact

Berlin:
Silke Pfeiffer
Tel: +49-30-3438 2060
Fax: +49-30-3470 3912
tilac@transparency.org

Santiago de Chile:
Miguel Peñailillo
Tel: +56-02-274 3337
mpenailillo@tie.cl