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Korea to Lead Global Anti-Corruption Efforts
Source: koreaherald.com
Source Date: Friday, November 12, 2010
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: Korea (Republic of)
Created: Nov 15, 2010

South Korea will conscientiously seek to enhance global cooperation in combating corruption as a “consensus builder” between advanced and developing nations, the vice chief of Seoul’s anti-corruption watchdog said Friday.

The mediating role of Seoul, the host of the Group of 20 summit, has contributed significantly to forging the G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan, Lee Young-keun, vice chairman of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission told The Korea Herald.

“Our country, which has been trying to effectively address corruption issues that have inevitably arisen during the process of rapid economic growth, has been playing an active mediating role between advanced and developing countries at the Anti-Corruption Working Group,” said Lee.

“We have been striving to forge a consensus among them by stressing the need for supporting developing countries’ gradual implementation of the (anti-corruption) agreement, for building anticorruption capacities for G20 nations and for sharing information and good practices.”

The G20 agreed to establish the working group at their previous summit in Toronto in June to make comprehensive recommendations on ways to contribute to global anti-corruption endeavors.

The working group created the action plan, which was announced at the end of the two-day global economic forum on Friday. It was the first time that such a plan, aimed at tackling corruption, was added to the summit declaration.

The ACRC has consistently underscored that anti-corruption issues should be included as a G20 agenda item as corruption has emerged as one of the contributing factors to the economic crisis, Lee noted.

“We have stressed that so as to establish a sustainable, balanced global economic growth model, we should build an international cooperative system by tabling the corruption issues at the G20 summit,” said Lee.

“We have constantly suggested that corruption issues be dealt with in the summit so that we can arouse domestic interest in those issues and pave the way for Korea to become an advanced and clean country.”

At the third G20 summit in Pittsburgh in September 2009, corruption-related content made it into the summit declaration for the first time. But it was not in the form of an action plan. The working group, co-chaired by France and Indonesia, has been working strenuously and finally made the action plan.

“By adopting the action plan, the G20 showed that anticorruption policies are significant in the efforts to achieve a sustainable global economic growth and are part of the national development strategies,” Lee said.

“It is a display of their strong will to work as exemplary anticorruption models. It is meaningful in that it would become a crucial foundation to establish a fair global society.”

Touching on Korea’s global standing in terms of anticorruption policies, Lee said that the country would continue to step up international cooperation in sharing information and technology for combating corruption.

“The ACRC has actively responded to global anticorruption efforts led by international agreements, such as the U.N. Convention against Corruption and the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention,” said Lee.

Also, through cooperative projects with the U.N. Development Program, the ACRC has transferred anticorruption technology to Bhutan and Bangladesh, Lee explained. It has had memorandums of understanding on anticorruption-related issues with Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Mongolia.

“Korea’s integrity level ranks 39th among the 178 countries. This means there are in fact many things to be improved. However, our corruption prevention policies have received a good response from the international society and calls for our support have increased,” Lee said.

“Korea will share our anticorruption know-how and experience from our trial-and-error with the international society so that developing countries can avoid mistakes and focus on their economic and social advancement,” Lee said.
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