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TI welcomes Asian and Pacific governments’ new move against corruption

Implementation is the key to the success of the Anti-Corruption Action Plan endorsed by 17 Asian and Pacific countries, says NGO

Transparency International (TI) - the leading anti-corruption NGO - with its national chapters in Asia-Pacific will support the implementation by 17 governments of a new regional action plan adopted on 30 November in Tokyo. The joint Anti-Corruption Action Plan for Asia and the Pacific - which focuses on identifying national priorities for action by governments - was endorsed at the end of the Third Annual Conference of the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia-Pacific. The Pacific Basin Economic Council (PBEC) and key donors including the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank are also committed to supporting the plan.

"It is essential to have a regional dialogue which brings together all of the key actors concerned with corruption," said Tunku Abdul Aziz, TI Vice-Chairman and head of TI-Malaysia. "The new plan is a first step in giving substance to this dialogue." He continued: "TI welcomes the prominent role reserved in the plan for NGOs and the private sector in raising public awareness and encouraging reform. Civil society has an important watchdog role to play."

Under the new action plan, governments will choose two or three priorities from a comprehensive list of anti-corruption proposals to meet their particular needs. "The plan must be fully implemented by the countries whose governments have endorsed it," stressed Tunku Aziz. Margit van Ham, TI executive director for Asia-Pacific, added: "It would be useful to couple country-specific action plans with a regular national anti-corruption round table discussion, involving government, business and civil society and supported by adequate access to information," she said. TI also recommends that actions be taken by countries to reduce the supply side of corruption, including bribery by their companies abroad. "The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention is already a basis for such reform," said Tunku Aziz.

In addition to countries determining their own national strategies, Transparency International recommends identifying priorities for collective action at a regional level. "Effective regional initiatives might include developing guidelines for access to information, providing mutual assistance in investigation and anti-corruption enforcement, and co-operating on the seizure and recovery of the proceeds of corruption across national borders," said TI Board Member Peter Rooke.

Notes:

The countries that have endorsed the initiative are Bangladesh, Cook Islands, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, and Vanuatu. More countries are expected to adopt the plan in future.

The Anti-Corruption Action Plan for Asia-Pacific was drafted by regional experts with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which together launched an initiative in 1999 to address bribery in the region. Transparency International has backed the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative since its inception.

The Action Plan is available here.

For further information please contact:
Tunku Abdul Aziz (Kuala Lumpur), +603-4819 9131
Peter Rooke (Sydney), +61-2-9326 1737, or
Margit van Ham (Berlin), +49-30-343 8200
Speech by Transparency International Vice-Chairman
Tunku Abdul Aziz on the Asia-Pacific Anti-Corruption Action
(30 November in Tokyo, Japan).


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Tel: +49-30 3438 2061
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press@transparency.org