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G20 Strongly Committed to Combating Corruption
Source: koreaherald.com
Source Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010
Focus: Information Access, E-Participation
Created: Nov 15, 2010

The Group of 20 leading economies Friday adopted an anti-corruption action plan in a strong display of their reinforced commitment to tackling corruption, which they said is a “severe impediment” to economic growth.

The action plan to tackle corruption and promote a clean business environment was announced at the close of the two-day global economic forum in Seoul. The plan was an added extra to the summit declaration.

“Corruption threatens the integrity of markets, undermines fair competition, distorts resource allocation, destroys public trust and undermines the rule of law,” the G20 statement on the action plan said.

“As leaders of major trading nations, we have a special responsibility to prevent and tackle corruption, to establish legal and policy frameworks that promote a clean business environment and to continue to assist G20 countries in their capacity building efforts to combat corruption.”

The G20 leaders agreed to the plan, which was organized through in-depth discussions at the Anti-Corruption Working Group. The G20 agreed to establish the group at their previous summit in Toronto in June to make comprehensive recommendations on ways to contribute to global anti-corruption endeavors.

Through the action plan statement, the G20 urged its members to ratify and fully implement the U.N. Convention against Corruption and to invite other non-G20 countries to do the same.

The plan also includes adopting and enforcing laws and other measures against international bribery, preventing corrupt officials from accessing the global financial system and from laundering their proceeds of corruption.

Also part of the plan is encouraging the signing of bilateral and multilateral treaties on extradition, mutual legal assistance and asset recovery to enhance international cooperation on tackling corruption and bribery.

The G20 also called on its members to enact and implement whistleblower protection rules by the end of 2012 to protect those who report suspected acts of corruption from discriminatory and retaliatory actions.

Stressing the role of the private sector in the global fight against corruption, the G20 also said that it is crucial to foster public-private partnerships to effectively tackle corruption-related issues.

The state-run Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission has been at the vanguard of efforts to enhance Korea’s capacity in tackling corruption.

Representing South Korea at the Anti-Corruption Working Group, the ACRC has played a mediating role between developed and developing nations while stressing the importance of improved international cooperation in dealing with corruption issues.

“We will actively implement the action plan. We will check the country’s anti-corruption rules and policies and seek to improve and complement them,” said the ACRC in a statement. “We will expand international cooperation in the fight against corruption and promote our good anti-corruption policies and measures.”

To check each country’s progress in anti-corruption moves, the G20 agreed that reports on the progress will be submitted on an annual basis when G20 leaders gather for the premier economic forum.
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