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The Bangkok Declaration: Restoring Trust Outcome of the 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference
Source: thailand.prd.go.th
Source Date: Monday, November 15, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement, Institution and HR Management
Country: Thailand
Created: Nov 23, 2010

The 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center from 10 -13 November 2010, concluded with the Bangkok Declaration.

In the Bangkok Declaration, the meeting agreed that there could be no true security and no real freedom as long as the machinery of law enforcement remained compromised by corruption. Looking at case studies, the meeting concluded that determined leadership was a critical factor, while civil society could create pressure through publicizing cases of corruption in the police and judiciary.

It focused on tools to bridge the gap between the promise of resource wealth and some of the attendant problems such wealth brings. Participants in the meeting discussed methods for increasing transparency, strengthening accountability and engaging citizens to unlock the positive potential of natural resource wealth.

They also raised the issue of a trust deficit between developed and developing countries in international climate negotiations, a situation exacerbated by broken promises and differing priorities. A first step to ameliorating the problem was seen in proposed mechanisms for mutual accountability both in terms of commitments for funding by developed nations and commitments to undertake mitigation actions by developing nations. The positive benefits for both groups need to be brought front and centre rather than focusing on efforts as a source of burden.

Transnational bribery was discussed in the Asian region. The need for a more efficient exchange of information across jurisdictions was highlighted as well as the usefulness of the OECD Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics and Compliance within companies.

The meeting saw a great need to integrate anti-corruption efforts and the Millennium Development Goals, with a focus on engaging citizens in the monitoring of financial assistance and on local accountability projects. It also discussed the importance of social protection in developing a safety net for the most poor, but noted that these must include anti-corruption mechanisms if they are to be effective in lifting people out of poverty. The meeting sought strategies for reaching achievement of universal primary education by 2015, identifying systemic weak points from school procurement, to hiring, to the administration of examinations.

According to the Bangkok Declaration, all people, individually and collectively, must not be obstructed from joining the fight against corruption. Special sessions on peoples empowerment offered an important opportunity for the sharing of strategies, tools and lessons learned about people-centered approaches to curbing corruption and strengthening accountability.

The meeting recommended that the G20 uphold their pledge to prevent and tackle corruption through [their] Anti-Corruption Action Plan, and increase integrity and transparency in global financial markets. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conclusion on corruption as a threat to prosperity and development must also be followed up.

It noted that the United Nations Convention against Corruption was groundbreaking as the first global instrument to address corruption. Regrettably, many countries have yet to ratify the Convention or are lagging behind in implementation. Addressing shortcomings in the UNCAC process can be assisted through gap analyses and robust self-reporting and transparency by states parties.

The meeting also recommended that the trust deficit between developed and developing countries in international climate negotiations can be ameliorated by the development of new mechanisms for mutual accountability at the international level. It also that there is a need to integrate anti-corruption efforts to work towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, with a focus on engaging citizens in monitoring of financial assistance and on local accountability projects, the right to information on aid, and the need to promote access to information.

The meeting called on the anti-corruption movement to respond to the growing demand for opportunities to share strategies, tools and hard earned lessons about people-centered approaches to curbing corruption and strengthening accountability.
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