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G-20 urged to push for eradicating corruption

 InDepth News 01 November 2019

While releasing the 2010 'Corruption Perceptions Index', Transparency International has lauded the Group of 20 (G-20) for recognising corruption as "a global problem that must be addressed in global policy reforms". (1080 Words) - By Jaya Ramachandran

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"It is commendable that the Group of 20 in pursuing financial reform has made strong commitments to transparency and integrity ahead of their November summit in Seoul," said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International (TI).

"But the process of reform itself must be accelerated," she added.

The leaders of 19 major industrial and emerging economies and the European Union are poised to tackle several mid- and long-term policy issues at their Summit on November 10-11 in Seoul, South Korea.

The G20 comprises: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, UK and USA.

The Seoul Summit agenda includes: ensuring global economic recovery; framework for strong, sustainable, and balanced global growth; strengthening the international financial regulatory system; modernizing the international financial institutions; global financial safety nets, development issues; and currency war.

TI calls on the G-20 "to mandate greater government oversight and public transparency in all measures they take to reduce systemic risks and opportunities for corruption and fraud in the public as well as in the private sector".

In their Declaration emerging from the Toronto Summit on June 26-27, 2010, the G-20 agreed that "corruption threatens the integrity of markets, undermines fair competition, distorts resource allocation, destroys public trust and undermines the rule of law".

"We call for the ratification and full implementation by all G-20 members of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and encourage others to do the same. We will fully implement the reviews in accordance with the provisions of UNCAC," they said.

Going a step further, they said: "Building on the progress made since Pittsburgh to address corruption, we agree to establish a Working Group to make comprehensive recommendations for consideration by Leaders in Korea on how the G-20 could continue to make practical and valuable contributions to international efforts to combat corruption and lead by example, in key areas that include, but are not limited to, adopting and enforcing strong and effective anti-bribery rules, fighting corruption in the public and private sectors, preventing access of corrupt persons to global financial systems, cooperation in visa denial, extradition and asset recovery, and protecting whistleblowers who stand-up against corruption."

Echoing that view, TI says: ". . . governments need to integrate anti-corruption measures in all spheres, from the responses to the financial crisis and climate change to commitments by the international community to eradicate poverty. For this reason TI advocates stricter implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption, the only global initiative that provides a framework for putting an end to corruption."

OECD ANTI-BRIBERY CONVENTION

TI's assessment of 36 industrialised countries party to the OECD anti-bribery convention, which forbids bribery of foreign officials, reveals that "as many as 20 show little or no enforcement of the rules, sending the wrong signal about their commitment to curb corrupt practices".

While corruption continues to plague fledgling states, hampering their efforts to build and strengthen institutions, protect human rights and improve livelihoods, corrupt international flows continue to be considerable, it adds.

The 2010 CPI shows that nearly three quarters of the 178 countries in the index score below five, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 (perceived to have low levels of corruption), indicating a serious corruption problem.

"These results signal that significantly greater efforts must go into strengthening governance across the globe. With the livelihoods of so many at stake, governments' commitments to anti-corruption, transparency and accountability must speak through their actions. Good governance is an essential part of the solution to the global policy challenges governments face today," said TI's Chair Labelle, on October 26, 2019.

"Allowing corruption to continue is unacceptable; too many poor and vulnerable people continue to suffer its consequences around the world. We need to see more enforcement of existing rules and laws. There should be nowhere to hide for the corrupt or their money," Labelle added.

In the 2010 CPI, Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore tie for first place with scores of 9.3. Unstable governments, often with a legacy of conflict, continue to dominate the bottom rungs of the CPI. Afghanistan and Myanmar share second to last place with a score of 1.4 and with Somalia coming in last with a score of 1.1.

Where source surveys for individual countries remain the same, and where there is corroboration by more than half of those sources, real changes in perceptions can be ascertained, explains TI.

Using these criteria, it is possible to establish an improvement in scores from 2009 to 2010 for Bhutan, Chile, Ecuador, FYR Macedonia, Gambia, Haiti, Jamaica, Kuwait, and Qatar. Similarly, a decline in scores from 2009 to 2010 can be identified for the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Madagascar, Niger and the United States.

In an earlier report in September 2010, TI had warned that the failure by governments to address corruption is threatening the fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It called on governments, donors and non-governmental organisations to adopt anti-corruption measures in all their MDG action plans in order to reach the goals in the next five years and sustain progress beyond the 2015 timeline.

TI's report, 'The Anti-Corruption Catalyst: Realising the MDGs by 2015', demonstrates that increased transparency, accountability and integrity translate into better MDG outcomes on education, health and water, three of the eight areas targeted by the MDGs.

"Governance breakdowns and corruption are significantly slowing down the progress towards the MDGs," said TI's Chair Labelle. "As we take stock, it is clear that anti-corruption and good governance measures need to be fully integrated in all future development efforts."

Analysis of access to drinking water in 51 countries, for example, suggests that lower levels of bribery translate into improved availability of clean water. Similarly, countries with good marks on anti-corruption legislation show reduced rates of maternal mortality.

There is also a strong correlation between greater public access to information and higher literacy rates for a nation's youth. What is most revealing about the findings is that these positive results hold true, no matter how wealthy a country is or how much it spends on the sector. The report also shows that when bribery and other forms of corruption are not effectively countered, the costs are high.

 

Originally published by InDepth News. © www.streetnewsservice.org

 

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