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TI calls on OAS to enforce existing commitments under Inter-American Convention against Corruption

Transparency International commends the Organization of American States (OAS) for its 34th session of the General Assembly, meeting in Quito, Ecuador on June 6th - 8th, which is focusing on hemispheric efforts to combat corruption.

TI urges leaders to take steps to enforce existing commitments under the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption and the anti-corruption commitments made at the Summits of the Americas. The Convention represents a hemispheric anti-corruption roadmap, which has been ratified by 30 countries.

TI believes several steps will be required for the Convention's follow up mechanism to function effectively, including adequate resources, an accelerated timetable for country reviews, ensuring the proficiency of the Committee of Experts, publication of documents and civil society consultations both in-country and with the Committee of Experts.

"These recommendations are critical to effective government action against corruption," said Silke Pfeiffer, TI Regional Director for the Americas. "Even with these steps the review process will be long, with little in the near term to assure citizens that commitments are being implemented. Therefore, Parties should commit to report at the 2005 Summit of the Americas on the status of their government's compliance with the Convention", she added.

OAS member states committed to strengthening the Convention follow-up mechanism in the Declaration of Nuevo León, issued at the interim Summit of the Americas in Mexico in January 2004. TI supports further efforts to implement the commitments made in Monterrey to public access to information, transparency in political party finances and transparency in the administration of public finances. Such steps should include publishing laws, regulations, judicial and administrative decisions, disclosing official assets and enhancing transparency in government procurement and campaign finance, all in a timely and accessible manner. Finally, TI supports efforts to implement the Summit commitments to combat fraud and corruption in the private sector, and to the denial of safe haven to corrupt officials and those that corrupt them.

Transparency International, founded in Berlin, Germany, is a nonprofit worldwide coalition which is committed exclusively to fighting corruption internationally. TI's strategic approach is comprehensive and non-political, focusing on systemic reform rather than identifying particular cases. It raises public awareness of the damaging impact of corruption on social and economic development, particularly in the developing world, and mobilizes the government, private sector and civil society to work in coalition. A network of national chapters, in over 90 countries, works at the domestic level to secure the implementation of multilateral commitments and other sustainable reforms. TI is also an international center of expertise that develops and disseminates standards, best practices and lessons learned.

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