Civil Society challenges governments in Open Letter to Global Forum II

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat

It is time for the talking to stop and the action against corruption to begin. This is the central message that civil society organisations from across the world will deliver when they place a set of key demands before the more than 100 governments gathering at the Second Global Forum on Fighting Corruption and Safeguarding Integrity in The Hague, The Netherlands from May 28-31, 2001.

The demands are as follows:

Governments will come together in order to confirm their commitment to fight corruption and to discuss new strategies to curb corruption. It is expected that Ministers will adopt a Final Declaration, containing a number of ideas related to a future legal UN instrument against corruption, to the monitoring of the effectiveness of national anti-corruption strategies, and to best practices.

The demands of civil society organisations have been formulated in an Open Letter (attached), drawn up by the Dutch development organisation Hivos, the anti-corruption organisation Transparency International, and a number of Southern anti-corruption organisations. The letter has been signed by more than 200 civil society organisations from across the globe, including Human Rights Watch, Oxfam, the International Federation of Journalists, the International Commission of Jurists, the National Platform of Indigenous Peoples and Peasants of Guatemala (CONIC), and the Women's Platform of Bolivia and the Indonesian Federation of Peasant Unions (see The letter will be formally presented to the host of the conference, the Dutch Minister of Justice, Mr Korthals, by Frances Akello, a grassroots anti-corruption campaigner in Soroti District, Uganda. The presentation will take place during the plenary session of Government Ministers on Thursday, May 31. (A list of signatories is available at

For further information, please contact:

Eric Baars
Head of the Communication Department
Tel: +31-(0)70-3765500, +31-(0)6-20415036

Chris Collier
Senior Policy Officer
Human Rights, Hivos
Tel: +31-(0)70-3765605, +31-(0)6-21238957

Jeff Lovitt
Head of Public Relations
Transparency International
Tel: +49-30-3430 8200

Note to editors: Hivos has invited four African anti-corruption activists to participate in Global Forum II. They are John Makumbe, Chairman of Transparency International-Zimbabwe, Kivutha Kibwana, Chairman of the Centre of Law and Research International (Kenya), Augustine Muserero, Co-ordinator of the Uganda Debt Network (Uganda), and Frances Akello, Coordinator of the Osulel Rural Action Group, (Uganda).

On the afternoon of Wednesday, May 30, during the Forum's "parallel programme" they will describe the nature and extent of corruption in their societies, its consequences. They will also assess the role of their governments and the international community with respect to efforts to end corruption. The session will hear testimony on the effects of corruption at the community level, citizens' efforts to organise to combat it, and the results achieved. During the same session, Jeremy Pope, Executive Director of Transparency International, will highlight the need for the recovery of embezzled state funds and discuss mechanisms required to effect this.

Open Letter from Civil Society Organisations to the Second Global Forum on Fighting Corruption

Government Representatives and other distinguished participants,

We, as representatives drawn from a wide range of global civil society, welcome the establishment of the Global Forum on Fighting Corruption and its determination to develop effective principles and practices to prevent or combat corruption around the world. We have witnessed a number of positive developments since the first Forum was held two years ago. But in many parts of our world today, corruption is actually on the increase.

The consequences of worsening corruption for our societies and for our planet are dramatic. Corruption is a major factor underlying human rights violations of every description - economic and social no less than political and civil. Corruption creates political instability and conflict. It denies governments their legitimacy and people the protection the Rule of Law should provide. Corruption impacts daily on the lives of millions by eroding medical services, education systems, the honesty of the police and the provision and efficiency of public services in general. It foments the destruction of the environment and it causes avoidable death and destruction during natural disasters. In short, corruption exacerbates poverty and inequality, it discourages economic investment and development, and thus it attacks every value we global citizens share.

We make a special plea to all those countries whose institutions harbour the ill-gotten gains of public officials who have looted their countries and impoverished their peoples. We ask all countries to co-operate to secure the return of the looted wealth of those countries that have suffered most grievously from the consequences of corruption, particularly in Africa. But we also ask for systems of mutual legal co-operation and enforcement to be put in place that will ensure that there is no hiding place for the proceeds of corruption, and no country where the corrupt can enjoy the profits of their crimes without fear of extradition and punishment.

We further challenge governments represented at the Global Forum, both individually and collectively, to publicly commit themselves to undertake actions that we as civil society regard as crucial, namely actions that will:

We look forward, in particular, to the early conclusion of a United Nations Convention against corruption, and look to governments to play an active part in achieving and implementing a landmark international instrument that will significantly increase mutual co-operation in the development of criminal law and the harmonisation of corruption offences to the benefit of the great mass of humankind.

In closing, we ask the governments here assembled to acknowledge the catastrophic effects that corruption is having on our societies and on our planet, and we urge governments to demonstrate their political will not by words alone, but by taking immediate and effective measures to curb corruption in all its forms. We look forward to the assessment of your efforts that will take place when civil society organisations gather at the 10th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Prague on 7-11 October, 2001.

For any press enquiries please contact

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Support Transparency International

Support Us

Next week governments can take a step to close down secrecy jurisdictions. Will they?

National financial regulators attending the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary in Paris 16 – 21 February have the opportunity to significantly reduce money laundering, corruption and terror financing. They must not squander the opportunity.

Why don’t the victims of bribery share in the record-breaking Airbus settlement?

Last Friday, French, UK and US authorities announced that Airbus would pay record penalties for foreign bribery. Notably absent in the agreements are any plans to share the penalty payment with the countries where the company was paying bribes.

Nadie es perfecto

Los países con las puntuaciones más altas en el IPC, como Dinamarca, Suiza e Islandia, no son inmunes a la corrupción. Si bien el IPC muestra que los sectores públicos en estos países están entre los menos corruptos del mundo, la corrupción existe, especialmente en casos de lavado de dinero y otras formas de corrupción en el sector privado.

مشكلة في الأعلى

Переполох на верху

Страны с самым высоким рейтингом по ИВК, такие как Дания, Швейцария и Исландия, не защищены от коррупции. Хотя ИВК показывает, что государственный сектор в этих странах является одним из самых чистых в мире, коррупция все еще существует, особенно в случаях отмывания денег и другой коррупции в частном секторе.

Problèmes au sommet

Les pays les mieux classés sur l’IPC comme le Danemark, la Suisse et l’Islande ne sont pas à l’abri de la corruption. Bien que l’IPC montre que les secteurs publics de ces pays sont parmi les moins corrompus au monde, la corruption existe toujours, en particulier dans les cas de blanchiment d’argent et d’autres formes de corruption du secteur privé.

Индекс восприятия коррупции 2019

Индекс восприятия коррупции 2019 года выявил, что огромное число стран практически не показывает улучшения в борьбе с коррупцией. Наш анализ также показывает, что сокращение больших денег в политике и содействие инклюзивному принятию политических решений необходимы для сдерживания коррупции.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media