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GOPAC Launches #PreventProsecuteParalyze Campaign

GOPAC has officially launched #PreventProsecuteParalyze, our global campaign to mobilise citizens across the world to support the creation of an international tool for the prosecution of perpetrators of grand corruption.

It is time for us to prevent, prosecute, and paralyze grand corruption and its perpetrators.

The global campaign includes a website where citizens can make their voices heard through a letter writing campaign calling for the creation of universal jurisdiction legislation at the national level to help prosecute perpetrators of grand corruption. The site also includes a petition that will be forwarded to the United Nations and other international institutions to advocate for the development of an international mechanism to prosecute and sentence those who have committed crimes of grand corruption.

We urge you, our members and supporters, to visit the campaign website, sign the petition, and share this important initiative with all your contacts, constituents, friends and family.
This campaign is but one step in our Action Plan to fight grand corruption. We still have a long way to go but your support will help us further our commitment to the prosecution of perpetrators of grand corruption.

This issue was a key conclusion of GOPAC’s fifth Global Conference of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, held in January 2013. It was further explored in a discussion paper released by GOPAC in mid-November 2013, and again at the Forum of Parliamentarians, an event parallel to the Fifth Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption held at the end of November 2013.

GOPAC Chapters Celebrate International
Anti-Corruption Day

Here are a few of the activities our members have undertaken for International Anti-Corruption Day. If you would like to share your story, please write to the Global Secretariat.
GOPAC Argentina sought the participation of civil society to mark International Anti-Corruption Day, in collaboration with the government of the City of Buenos Aires, and the Associación del Personal de Organismos de Control. The event welcomed citizens to a mural covered in small black tiles with the slogan “Change Corruption through Transparency”. Citizens were invited to replace the black tiles with transparent ones, slowly revealing the logo and slogan commemorating International Anti-Corruption Day.
Southeast Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC) took part in a news conference for International Anti-corruption Day along with the House of Representative of the Republic of Indonesia. The event served as an opportunity for SEAPAC to launch the #PreventProsecuteParalyze campaign in their region and to calls on the global community to bring perpetrators of grand corruption to justice. The conference participants included the Deputy Speaker Fadli Zon and Chairperson of the Committee for Inter Parliamentary Cooperation, Dr Nurhayati Ali Assegaf, who is also the Chair of GOPAC’s Participation of Society Global Task Force.
GOPAC Serbia Chair, Olgica Batic, participated in a conference on International Anti-Corruption Day held ahead of the adoption of a new law on the Anti­-Corruption Agency. Ms Batic emphasised that strong parliament, government and judiciary are the cornerstone in the fight against corruption. She spoke of GOPAC and shared information on the work and purpose of the chapter in Serbia. 
How did you celebrate International Anti-Corruption Day?

Share your thoughts here: GOPAC Question of the Month

Corruption in Political Financing

GOPAC UK Co-Chair Mr Anas Sarwar represented GOPAC at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Forum on Financing Democracy and Averting Policy Capture, which took place in Paris, France, 3-4 December. The event was opened by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria and welcomed officials in the area of enforcement and regulation of political finance, and stakeholders including politicians and representatives of political parties. It served to advance understanding of the influence of money on public policies and the options to prevent the high-jacking of policy development by narrow private interests.

Mr Sarwar presented at a panel on legislative loopholes and the challenges they pose to transparency and accountability. He was joined on the panel by Ellen Weintraub, Commissioner at the US Federal Election Commission, Kim Jeong-Gon, 
Director General of the National Election Commission of South Korea / Secretariat of Association of World Election Bodies, and Robert Mack, Government Relations Director at Coca-Cola. Björn Janson, Deputy to the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of Group of States against Corruption, moderated the session.

Mr Sarwar spoke of the public environment in the UK with regards to public trust and some of the measure that exist in the UK to combat corruption. He stressed that while the UK has enjoyed the rights of a global leader, it is most important for the country to live up to the responsibilities of this position. He added that priorities must be to honestly and transparently represent constituents and to ensure that domestic politics do not spill over to the detriment of other countries.

GOPAC Oceania Tackling Illicit Flows

GOPAC Oceania has signed on to a joint statement calling for a change in the international tax and financial architecture which would help combat illicit financial flows and improve development, equity and human rights for all. The statement was prepared by a group of participants of the Financial Transparency Coalition and Latindadd Conference held in Lima, 14 – 15 October 2014.

The statement speaks of the cost of illicit financial flows on citizens around the world and in particular women and girls.
It states that the loss of tax revenues due to international tax evasion and avoidance significantly reduce the funds available to finance policies aimed at fulfilling the human rights of women and girls and gender justice.

We commend GOPAC Oceania for taking a stand against one of the many issues facing the fight against corruption and invite other chapters to follow in their path. If your chapter is interested in reading and signing the statement, click here.

Celebrating UN Global Compact’s 10th Principle Against Corruption

The UN Global Compact, of which GOPAC is an Observer, brought together over 200 anti-corruption champions from business, governments, civil society, UN organizations and other stakeholders to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of their 10th Principal, which deals with the issue of corruption. The event took place in New York City on 10 December.

GOPAC was represented at the event by Program Advisor Priya Sood. This meeting featured breakout sessions allowing participants to explore and discuss efforts to address corruption in the financial sector, the importance of collective action, the role of investors in incentivizing good governance and anti-corruption strategies in emerging markets. 
An interactive "action fair" over lunch provided a space where business and other stakeholders could learn about each other's activities related to anti-corruption.

The UN Global Compact operates under ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. In August they launched a Call to Action asking governments to address corruption and foster good governance. GOPAC is a signatory and invites other chapters and stakeholders to join.

ARPAC Participates in Parliamentary Oversight Workshop

In November, ARPAC Board member Dr Azmi Al Shuaibi, ARPAC Iraq member Dr Majida Al Tamimi, and Marie-Jose Bedran, Program Manager for the ARPAC Secretariat, participated in a workshop on the effective parliamentary oversight of the Budget. The event was hosted by the World Bank in collaboration with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the Arab Institute for Parliamentary Training and Legislative Studies.

The workshop was an opportunity for Iraqi and Lebanese Parliaments to share experiences on the Budget and the mechanisms for its implementation and monitoring.
Dr Azmi Al Shuaibi spoke at one session about parliamentary efforts to fight corruption and public Budget transparency. He spoke at a second session on the involvement of citizens in the Supreme Audit Courts and parliamentary work. He stressed the importance of the Parliament’s role to urge the government to prepare a national plan to fight corruption. He also stressed the importance of respecting the principle of the of citizens’ right to access information through the adoption and implementation of the relevant legislation, which opens the way for community participation and accountability by citizens right next to the parliament.

GOPAC Argentina Elects Executive Committee

Members of GOPAC Argentina gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 25 November to formalize their chapter and elect an Executive Committee. Paula Bertol was elected the Chair and will lead with Vice-Chair Graciela Ocaña. They will be supported by Manuel Garrido as Secretary and Laura Sesma as Treasurer. GOPAC Argentina welcomes 26 active members, including national and provincial legislators who currently hold seats as well as former legislators.
The event was also attended by representatives of various organizations conducting parliamentary monitoring. It also welcomed specialists Jorge Oscar and Oszlak Vanossi who spoke to participants about transparency and accountability in the legislative field.

Anti-Corruption and Transparency in the Mining Sector

For governments around the world, mining investment holds promise of change: the opportunity to increase infrastructure and social investments, and a chance to establish broad-based economic growth. Despite the sudden influx of resource revenues, corruption often causes many countries to struggle to convert this newfound wealth into economic growth and prosperity.

In November, the Empire Club of Canada invited GOPAC along with the Mining Association of Canada and Publish What You Pay – Canada to discuss Canada’s role in this fight. Claire Woodside of Publish What You Pay-Canada and Pierre Gratton of the Mining Association of Canada
participated in a lively conversation that looked at transparency in the mining sector and legislation in Canada that could facilitate accountability and be a strong tool in fighting corruption. GOPAC Executive Director Akaash Maharaj facilitated the conversation through a series of thought provoking questions.

This event was sponsored by Export Development Canada (EDC). EDC is Canada’s trade finance agency and is active in both financing and promoting business ethics within the mining industry.

Click here to view the video of the event.

APNAC-Gambia Hosts Workshop to Raise Awareness of Anti-Corruption Act

The GOPAC national chapter in Gambia, APNAC-Gambia, with the support of the National Assembly of the Gambia, hosted a workshop in October to raise awareness and improve understanding of the Anti-Corruption Act 2012.
The event was chaired by  Momodou A. Sise, assistant Clerk at the National Assembly, and welcomed as speakers: the Hon Abdoulie Bojang, Speaker of the National Assembly, and the Hon Cherno Jallow, Chair of APNAC-Gambia.
Copyright © 2014 Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), All rights reserved.

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