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GOPAC’s Sixth Global Conference to be Held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

GOPAC is pleased to announce that Yogyakarta, Indonesia has been selected as the host city for the upcoming sixth Global Conference of Parliamentarians Against Corruption being held 6-8 October. This year’s conference is a joint endeavor of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia, GOPAC, Southeast Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC), and GOPAC Indonesia. The biennial conference will welcome hundreds of 
anti-corruption leaders—current and former legislators, and representatives from governments, international organizations, and observer bodies—to join hands to combat corruption.

We will be sending invitations shortly and the conference website, registration, and programme information will be made available in the coming weeks. We look forward to welcoming all of our dedicated corruption fighters in the fall in Yogyakarta!

YEMENPAC Member Wins GOPAC International Anti-Corruption Award

GOPAC extends warm congratulations to YEMENPAC member the Honourable Ali Ashal for winning the first annual GOPAC International Anti-Corruption Award. Since joining GOPAC in 2005, the Hon Ashal has been an ardent supporter of the fight against corruption. His accomplishments throughout his fifteen-year career as a parliamentarian include introducing the Access to Information Right Law in the Yemeni Parliament which passed in 2012 and raising standards for parliamentary oversight of the resource sector.
Since the Hon Ashal is unable to accept the prize associated with the award, GOPAC and the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) are proud to offer the Honourable Willias Madzimure, Chair of APNAC-Zimbabwe, the scholarship to attend the upcoming IACA Summer Academy from 2-11 July.

GOPAC would like to thank IACA for partnering with us and sponsoring the scholarship to the Summer Academy and we look forward to strengthening our collaboration in the years to come.

Latest Updates from our Chapters

GOPAC’s ever-growing worldwide network of corruption fighters has recently been joined by two additional national chapters. The African Parliamentarians’ Network Against Corruption (APNAC) has established a new chapter in Niger, chaired by Hon Assoumana Mallam Issa, and the Arab Parliamentarians Against Corruption (ARPAC) recently welcomed a new chapter in Libya, chaired by Dr Majda El Fallah.
At their most recent meeting, the ARPAC Board of Directors elected Dr Azmi Al Shuaibi (Palestine) as their new Chair and Mr Youseif Zeinal (Bahrain) as their new Vice-Chair. GOPAC would like to thank Dr Saadi Mohammad Abdullah (Bahrain) and Mr Ghassan Moukheiber (Lebanon), the outgoing Chair and Vice-
Chair respectively, for their service to ARPAC and dedication to the fight against corruption.

Additionally, APNAC-Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) released a statement in late-May expressing support for the National Assembly of the DRC decision to submit conclusions to the judiciary following a parliamentary inquiry into the length of time it took for the country to build a fibre optic cable network. The network was required to improve phone and internet connectivity for the citizens of DRC. APNAC-DRC believes the significant delays were due in part to mismanagement and the diversion of funds.

GOPAC Serbia Hosts International Conference on Transparency and Accountability

On 21 and 22 May, GOPAC Serbia hosted the Transparency and Accountability for Effective Oversight: the Role of Parliament international conference in collaboration with the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The conference, in Belgrade, Serbia, gathered current and prospective GOPAC members from Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, and Serbia. Representatives from the Serbian government, various UNDP offices, the GOPAC Global Secretariat and Executive Committee, anti-corruption institutions, civil society organisations, and diplomatic missions were also in attendance.

The conference provided a platform for meaningful exchanges on the role that national legislatures play in curbing 
corruption and promoting transparency and good governance. Panel sessions emphasised the importance of parliamentary leadership in anti-corruption awareness building while discussing open data and citizens’ access to information, innovative anti-corruption mechanisms, communications with constituents through social media, and cooperation between government and civil society.

At the close of the conference, a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed by legislators from all seven participating countries to formalise their commitment for broader regional inter-parliamentary collaboration, including the creation of a GOPAC regional chapter in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. Additionally, representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Moldova are expected to form national chapters in the coming months.

Tonga Forms National Chapter at UNODC-UNDP Workshop

On 12 and 13 May, GOPAC Oceania, in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), delivered a workshop in Nukuʻalofa, Tonga on the ratification and implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and parliamentary oversight. The workshop welcomed Tongan members of parliament and the Speaker, Clerk, and Deputy Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga, and was in part led by John Hyde, Chair of GOPAC Oceania and member of the GOPAC Executive Committee.
As a result of the workshop, a new GOPAC national chapter was created in Tonga, joining the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Australia and New Zealand in the GOPAC Oceania regional chapter. On 19 May, Tongan parliamentarians unanimously voted to establish the Legislative Standing Committee on Anti-Corruption. In the coming months, the Tongan government is expected to appoint an Anti-Corruption Commissioner and become a signatory to the UNCAC.

GOPAC CEO Presents at Sixth Session of the UNCAC Implementation Review Group

On 4 June, GOPAC CEO Akaash Maharaj delivered a presentation at the sixth session of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Implementation Review Group’s briefing for non-governmental organisations. The event provides an annual forum for non-governmental organisations to address the Implementation Review Group regarding their activities and contributions as they relate to the development of technical assistance needs and capacity building required for effective implementation of the UNCAC.
Mr Maharaj participated in the third panel titled Special Measures Against Corruption alongside Judge Mark L. Wolf, Senior U.S. District Judge, a representative of the Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP), and two representatives of the UNCAC Coalition. Mr Maharaj spoke on the international prosecution of grand corruption and introduced attendees to GOPAC’s #PreventProsecuteParalyze campaign aimed at bringing awareness to and eliminating crimes of grand corruption.

GOPAC Oceania Chair Speaks at African, Caribbean, Pacific - European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly

On 13 June, GOPAC Oceania Chair and member of the GOPAC Executive Committee John Hyde addressed the Standing Committee on Political Affairs at the 29th session of the African, Caribbean, Pacific - European Union (ACP-EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly held in Sava, Fiji. The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly brings together parliamentarians from countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific region and members of the European Parliament. Among the participants were GOPAC members from the newly-established chapter in Tonga, as well as members from Jamaica, Benin, and Mozambique.

Mr Hyde explained how the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, supported by 
GOPAC Oceania, is playing a significant role in helping parliamentarians in Pacific Island nations implement sustainable and effective anti-corruption reforms in their respective countries. One of the main objectives of the UN-PRAC project is to aid parliamentarians in better understanding the ratification and implementation processes of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). Mr Hyde demonstrated support for the Standing Committee’s motion passed at the meeting calling on ACP-EU member States to “guarantee effective eradication of all forms of human exploitation and corruption” and ensure the protection of human rights.

GOPAC Joins Civil Society Call for Increased Transparency in World Bank-Funded Procurements

GOPAC along with 106 civil society organisations endorsed a letter to Dr Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group (WB), urging the international financial institution to increase the level transparency and accountability of World Bank-funded procurements, in particular by requiring the disclosure and publication of beneficial ownership information for all legal entity bidders.

Transparent procurement processes play a critical role in increasing competition and economic growth, 
fostering citizen engagement, reducing corruption, and ensuring that procured goods and services are of a high quality and meet the actual needs of the citizenry. By publishing the beneficial ownership information of all legal entity bidders on WB-financed procurement dealings, the WB would make a significant contribution in the fight to eradicate anonymous companies which would also help the WB achieve their main development goals.
Copyright © 2015 Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), All rights reserved.

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