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ARPAC Members Press Lebanese Government on National Anti-Corruption Strategy

A key benefit to membership in GOPAC is the ability to network with parliamentarians to support and encourage each other in the fight against corruption. This was evident on March 16-17 at a GOPAC workshop in Beirut.

At the event, twenty-nine ARPAC members from a number of Arab countries participated in a two-day workshop on ways to implement the UNCAC in their respective countries. After providing individual country reports the members worked to identify opportunities for more effectively implementing and evaluating the UNCAC at a national level using the GOPAC Global Monitoring Survey. The group committed    to    holding    meetings    with   all

the members of their respective National Chapters to complete the survey upon their return from the Beirut meeting.

After the workshop, a delegation of members met with the Prime Minister of Lebanon to press for the development of a national strategy on anti-corruption including the creation of an independent body that would implement that strategy. The members' concerns stemmed from the fact that though Lebanon has ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the Government has not taken any steps to implement the anti-corruption measures that lie within the convention.


APNAC Zambia Members Affirm Code of Ethics

On March 17, APNAC Zambia held an Affirmation to the Code of Ethics Ceremony at its second Annual General Meeting at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.

Sixty-eight Members of Parliament (MPs) affirmed their commitment to the Code of Ethics which was witnessed by a high level delegation of representatives from government agencies, diplomatic missions, corporate organizations, and civil society, as well as media and members of the public.

Before the ceremony, APNAC Zambia's outgoing Chair, Hon. Given Lubinda, urged the members to reflect on the seriousness of the affirmation. He challenged them to hold their ethical principles high and forge ahead with great passion to fight corruption.

The ceremony was followed by APNAC Zambia’s Annual General Meeting including the  election  of  a  new  Executive   Committee.


The elections were monitored by Transpa-rency International Zambia (TIZ) with the TIZ Executive Director acting as the Returning Officer. The new Chair of APNAC Zambia is Hon. Cornelius Mweetwa from the United Party for National Development and the new Vice-Chair is Hon. Prof. Geofrey Lungwangwa from the Movement for Multi-party Democracy.

We extend our congratulations to the new executive and offer our sincere thanks to Hon. Given Lubinda and the outgoing executive for their leadership of the chapter and hope they will continue to contribute to GOPAC in the future.



Anti-Money Laundering in the Philippines

Graft and corruption have long been a major problem in the Philippines and have cost Filipinos dearly in progress and prosperity. But a group of dedicated GOPAC parliamentarians are determined to attack graft and corruption within government and promote good governance.

On March 16, GOPAC and the Southeast Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC) held a workshop in Manila, Philippines on Anti-Money Laundering and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). Senator Angara of the Philippines, GOPAC Vice-Chair and founding President of SEAPAC, chaired the capacity-building workshop held to equip Filipino legislators and others with knowledge and tools to fight corruption. It allowed for a productive and candid assessment of the country's anti-corruption efforts through the Philippines' Anti-Money Laundering Act and the UNCAC.

It was also an opportunity to renew the National Chapter's commitment to combat corruption and promote good governance in the Philippines and to contribute to the global fight against Corruption through their involvement in GOPAC.

This important event brought together delegates from the parliament, government and civic organizations. They also welcomed Gen. Teeradej Meepien, President of the Senate of the Kingdom of Thailand and Vice-President of the National Assembly there. He emphasized Thailand's commitment to implementing anti-money laundering measures and combating terrorist-financing regimes. He also expressed his intention to establish a GOPAC National Chapter in Thailand.


Anti-Money Laundering Action Guide Now Also Available in French and Spanish



APNAC-Zimbabwe Holds Annual General Meeting

Members from APNAC Zimbabwe met at the end of February for their Annual General Meeting. The Chapter now boasts of having 55 Members of Parliament (MPs). The meeting held discussions on activities from the year past as well developing a plan of action for the coming year. Among APNAC Zimbabwe's many commitments for the future is capacity building. They are also looking to strengthen APNAC Zimbabwe's ties with other state and non-state actors relevant to the fight against corruption through meetings and joint events.

GOPAC Chair Attends 18th Arab Parliamentary Union Conference

The Arab Parliamentary Union held its 18th conference in March of this year, their first meeting since the beginning of the Arab Spring. Eighteen Arab parliaments wererepresented plus six observers including GOPAC which was attending for the first time. Dr. Naser Al Sane, Chair of GOPAC, spoke at the official session attended by the Speakers of Parliaments and heads of delegations. He highlighted that corruption was the major motivation and reason for the Arab Spring revolutions which removed corrupt dictators. He stressed that GOPAC, an organization of parliamentarians, is willing to work in parliaments and with other parliamentarians to build strategies to tackle corruption on a parliamentary platform. He also recommended that the final conference resolution take note of the need for Arab Parliaments to address corruption at a national level.


Mines in Burkina Faso: Under the Microscope of GOPAC Members

Oil, gas, and minerals – all natural resources that have made some countries extremely rich yet, in many, citizens continue to live in abject poverty. Too often the royalties and other money earned by the government from these resources disappear in a wash of corruption supported by a lack of government accountability.

In February, in a move to increase accountability in their country, members of the Burkindi Network, GOPACs National Chapter in Burkina Faso, took important steps in the fight against corruption. They examined a mining site in the province of Balé. In addition to touring the facilities, members sat down   with   mining   executives  to  discuss anti-corruption issues   and   the steps that can


be taken to ensure all citizens of Burkina Faso can enjoy some of the prosperity generated by their country's natural resources. Members also met with people from the community living near the mine. They listened intently as citizens voiced their comments and concerns. From the visit, the Burkindi Network developed a set of recommendation to bring forth to the government. They will take every step possible to strengthen the systems currently in place to ensure their fight against corruption is a successful one.



Ensuring Transparency of Security Services in Burkina Faso

Why would corruption be an issue at borders or with community police? What would push some government officials to seek kickbacks for doing the job they are paid to do? What causes corruption within public security forces?

Members of the Burkindi Network sought answers to these questions during a visit to Dakola, a border town in Burkina Faso. Led by Burkindi Network Chair, Hon. Dieudonné Maurice Bonanet, the parliamentarians met with   border   and   police   officers   as   well as

members of the gendarme. Meeting with each group individually, they discussed the personal and economic damage caused by corruption and opened a dialogue to finds ways of fighting corruption. Participants were very willing to share their thoughts and opinions. Burkindi Network members left the meetings with a greater understanding of the problems facing security services in their country and also with ideas to ensure transparency and ethical conduct is second to none at all levels of government.

Copyright © 2012 Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), All rights reserved.
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