The 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), with the theme Together for development, peace and security: now is the time to act, concluded today in Copenhagen with a rallying cry from the anti-corruption movement: We are a global force and we will not be silenced.
At a time when the rise of authoritarianism, in the guise of populist regimes, threatens all those who defend social justice regardless of the country, region or continent, the conference called on governments to protect civil society and its role in exposing and confronting corruption and engaging citizens.
Speaking at the closing plenary, Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International, said: “We are facing increasing threats to civil society space, freedom of speech, right to association, and increasing violence against activists and journalists. This has to stop. It is crucial for the sake for democracy and anti-corruption to defend the space for civil society”.
The Copenhagen declaration proclaims:
“We are unanimous in our commitment to collaborate, build coalitions and unite so we can act together to end impunity for the corrupt. We recognise that the policies, the laws and conventions to stop corruption exist. Countries and the business community must effectively implement their existing anticorruption obligations, and must provide the resources needed to enforce anti-corruption laws and allow institutions to operate independently. Now is the time to act.”
Following the money-laundering scandal which saw €200 billion in suspicious transactions pass through the Estonian branch of Danske Bank, Denmark’s biggest lender, the activists gathered in Copenhagen called for cross-border action to prevent the laundering of the proceeds of corruption and stem the flow of dirty money.
The conference also saw more than 45 governments, businesses and organisations sign a joint commitment to renewed anti-corruption efforts. Eighteen national governments and nine international and multilateral organisations issued their own commitments to advancing anti-corruption efforts.
Huguette Labelle, Chair of the IACC Council, said: “This conference has brought a renewed commitment from all of us to tackle one of the most critical challenges of our time. However, fighting corruption is not an end in itself. It is the fight for social justice, for peace and for security. We need to mobilise citizens and communities at a much higher scale and speed than we have previously. Young people must not fall prey to terrorism and populist authoritarianism. They must be empowered and constructively engaged in the anti-corruption movement.”
The 19th International Anti-Corruption Conference will be held in 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. The conference will explore the crucial contribution of the fight against corruption to ensuring peace and security.
Note to Editors: Over three days, more than 1,800 people from 144 countries gathered in Copenhagen to assess the global fight against corruption in more than 50 workshops and 6 plenary debates. A full report on these activities will be available at IACCseries.org soon.
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