The Group of Eight’s powerful embrace of its leadership role in the fight against corruption is welcome news. Its extensive and detailed proposals – if followed through – will establish milestones for confronting and stamping out the pervasive corruption that has ravaged the African continent for decades.
The presence of key African leaders lends credence to the Summit’s conclusions, and offers hope that their stated commitment to a policy of zero tolerance of corruption – which the G-8 must also live by, in word and deed - becomes reality.
Commitment is important, but it is not the same as action. In order to prevent today’s commitments from following previous Summit pledges onto the trash heap of history, a specific, well-conceived and transparent timetable will ensure that the G-8 is held accountable for their promises.
The Group of Eight should report publicly on their progress in fulfilling these goals on International Anti-corruption Day, 9 December 2005.
Following up on key points in the communiqué will help establish the G-8’s leadership role in addressing corruption:
Ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption
Already ratified by 27 countries, 13 of them in Africa, but not by a single G-8 country.
Enforcement of laws against foreign bribery
Stop the flow of big ticket bribes by strengthening laws against bribery in export credits and credit guarantees and enforcing provisions of the OECD convention.
Recovery of stolen assets
The Group of Eight can do a great deal by closing down safe havens for dirty money looted by greedy dictators.
Support African governments in promoting better governance
Follow through on funding of New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) peer review mechanism.
Developed and developing countries must work together toward vigorous and effective enforcement and monitoring of the important commitments made today.
Transparency International is the leading global civil society organisation devoted to the fight against corruption.
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