Fighting corruption to be at the forefront of the Commonwealth

Transparency International and Malta Prime Minister make joint statement

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



At the first day of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), taking place in Malta, a joint statement of Transparency International and Hon. Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta, has pledged to put fighting corruption at the centre of the Commonwealth.

The statement outlines the damaging impact of corruption that “can choke off development, rob people of faith in their governments and sow the seeds of instability and conflict.”

The statement sets out 8 steps to begin the process of the Commonwealth leading global anti-corruption efforts, including a formal Commonwealth scheme, meeting the G20 standards of beneficial ownership, as well as much stronger mechanisms for the sharing of information.

Cobus de Swardt, Transparency International Managing Director, said:

“We are delighted that the Commonwealth - which represents nearly a third of the world’s population - is taking the fight against corruption so seriously and treating it as a priority. Corruption has proven to be a major destructive force across the Commonwealth, ruining millions of lives and stunting development and growth.”

“The Commonwealth is in a unique position to lead international anti-corruption efforts. Transparency International is proud to work together with the Commonwealth to support our vision of a world in which corruption is eradicated.”

“This joint statement marks a first step in this relationship and we look forward to moving forwards and building a lasting partnership to combat corruption.”

Text of Joint Statement:

Joint statement: Transparency International and Hon Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta

“The Commonwealth should play a leading role in the fight against corruption”

 Unchecked, corruption can choke off development, rob people of faith in their governments and sow the seeds of instability and conflict. But against this challenge, the Commonwealth has a tremendous opportunity to lead.

Corruption afflicts the Commonwealth in many ways. The Commonwealth includes both countries where vast amounts of wealth are stolen from the people and major financial centres that can be used to launder corrupt wealth. It is a community of nations with a set of shared values, shared sense of rule of law and a shared history of institutions. Because of all we share, the Commonwealth is a vital international forum to tackle this agenda.

Today, at the start of CHOGM 2015, we set out an aspiration for the Commonwealth to lead the world in tackling corruption and the laundering of the corrupt wealth around the Commonwealth.

Ahead of the proposed Anti-Corruption Summit in 2016, hosted in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth can build a consensus on tangible steps to address corruption and on a leadership role that the Commonwealth can take.

These steps need thorough debate, but they should include:

1. Considering a formal Commonwealth scheme for cooperation and mutual legal assistance to fight corruption

2. Expanding the Commonwealth Secretariat’s existing technical support to anti-corruption agencies and bringing professionals and practitioners together to help countries exchange ideas and find solutions tailored to their needs

3. Learning from the insights of the Commonwealth Associations of Anti-Corruption Agencies and the Commonwealth Africa Anti-Corruption Centre

4. Strengthening Commonwealth financial centres to lead the world in standards of transparency, integrity and effective anti-money laundering systems

5. Ensuring that all Commonwealth States meet the standards of beneficial ownership transparency that the G20 has agreed

6. Building better frameworks for sharing information on corruption and money laundering risks, so that strengthening one financial centre does not displace the problem to another jurisdiction

7. Raising standards of access to information rights for the public and whistleblower protections, across the Commonwealth

8. Reviewing the legitimacy of immunity for officials that guarantee against criminal proceedings across the Commonwealth and whether it can be reformed to end unnecessary high levels of protection that block justice for the corrupt

This week at the People’s Forum, the Business Forum, the Youth Forum and the Women’s Forum, as well as the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, we have called for the entire Commonwealth community to support this aspiration. If the Commonwealth can build a joint compact across all of its communities, we can break the strangle hold that corruption has on so many parts of the world.


For any press enquiries please contact

Valetta
Kurt Farrugia
Head Government Communication, Government of Malta
T: +356 22002400/+356 22002808
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 

Nick Maxwell – Head of Advocacy and Research
T: +447932216536
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Berlin
Chris Sanders – Media and Public Relations
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

London
Dominic Kavakeb – Communications Manager
T: + 44 (0)20 3096 7695/+44 (0)79 6456 0340
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

Asylum for Sale: Refugees say some U.N. workers demand bribes for resettlement

A 7-month investigation found reports of UN staff members exploiting refugees desperate for a safe home in a new country. By Journalists for Transparency reporter Sally Hayden.

Four ways the G20 can take the lead on anti-corruption

The globalisation of world trade and finance has been accompanied by an internationalisation of corruption. The G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group therefore has the potential to be a very important partner in the fight for a more just world.

Venezuela: Se necesitan instituciones sólidas para abordar la delincuencia organizada

La corrupción en las más altas esferas del Gobierno venezolano ha causado inestabilidad social y económica extrema y ha debilitado a las instituciones estatales que deberían proteger a la ciudadanía. Las redes de delincuencia organizada actúan con impunidad en todo el país.

Venezuela: Strong institutions needed to address organised crime

Corruption in the top echelons of the Venezuelan government has led to extreme instability and weak state institutions, and allows organised crime networks to act with impunity all across the country.

The trillion dollar question: the IMF and anti-corruption one year on

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made public commitments and adopted a new framework to address corruption - we check how the IMF is progressing with this one year later.

Three years after the Panama Papers: progress on horizon

The explosive Pulitzer Prize-winning global media project known as the "Panama Papers" turned three years old, and there are many reasons to celebrate.

Call for papers: the Global Asset Registry workshop – Paris, July 1-2

ICRICT, the World Inequality Lab project, Tax Justice Network, and Transparency International are co-hosting a workshop to develop the framework for a Global Asset Registry in Paris on July 1-2. The organisers wish to invite original, high-quality papers for presentation.

Troika Laundromat signals a different kind of financial crisis

The Troika Laundromat investigation shines a spotlight on a cast of new and familiar characters in the ongoing saga surrounding flows of dirty money through the world’s financial system.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media