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Anti-Corruption Fighters Gather in Yogyakarta, Indonesia for GOPAC 2015

GOPAC, the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia, the Southeast Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC), and GOPAC Indonesia were very pleased to welcome over two hundred delegates at the sixth Global Conference of Parliamentarians Against Corruption in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 6-8 October. The theme of this year’s conference was Bringing perpetrators of grand corruption to justice for a sustainable world where all citizens can live in prosperity and equity. Delegates from 59 countries significantly drove forward the global fight against corruption during the three-day event. Speakers and moderators were current and former parliamentarians and preeminent anti-corruption experts. They led six interactive panel sessions, covering such subjects as anti-corruption tools and mechanisms, grand corruption, stolen asset recovery, parliamentary ethics and conduct, boosting women parliamentarians’ leadership in non-traditional issues, and campaign financing reform.
On the final day of the conference at the Closing Ceremony, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of Indonesia Fadli Zon was announced as the newly elected Chair of GOPAC. Joining Mr Zon on the sixth Executive Committee are Paula Bertol (Vice-Chair), the Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (Vice-Chair), John Hyde (Secretary), Mary King (Treasurer), Dr Naser Al Sane (Member-at-large), and the Hon Romi Gauchan Thakali (Member-at-large). Additionally, the GOPAC Board gained new representation from Canada, Chad, the Cook Islands, El Salvador, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, and Tonga. Learn more about our Board of Directors on the GOPAC website.

We invite everyone to review the photos, media coverage, as well as the Final Report of the sixth Global Conference.

Amended GOPAC Constitution Approved at Sixth Global Conference

GOPAC’s fifth Board of Directors undertook a review of the GOPAC Constitution and By-Laws to ensure legal compliance with the newly adopted Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. At the sixth Global Conference of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, GOPAC members were asked to vote on the proposed changes and the amended Constitution was officially approved at the Closing Plenary on 8 October. Among the changes is the creation of an Annual General Meeting (AGM) which will help to increase transparency within GOPAC and offer 
all members a forum to participate in the strategic and decision-making processes of the organisation. While no changes were brought to the composition of the Board of Directors, GOPAC members will now elect Board members and the Chair of GOPAC at Annual General Meetings held at the biennial Global Conferences. The requirement for the Chair to be an existing member of the Board of Directors remains.

A copy of the amended Constitution is available for viewing online.

GOPAC Members Solidify Commitments in Yogyakarta Declaration

In addition to the Constitution, GOPAC members adopted the Yogyakarta Declaration at the close of the sixth Global Conference. Included in the 20-point Declaration is a call for the appointment of a United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on corruption who would examine corruption’s impact on human rights and the degree to which crimes of grand corruption are impeding on the socio-economic and political rights of citizens throughout the world. GOPAC members also recognised the importance of fully supporting and demonstrating solidarity with the newly 
established UN Sustainable Development Goals, most notably Goal 16 which promotes accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Furthermore, our members resolved to press for the adoption of an UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) protocol aimed at establishing an international court on corruption for the prosecution of perpetrators and collaborators of grand corruption.

The Yogyakarta Declaration is also available in French, Spanish, and Arabic.

GOPAC Argentina and COPLA Participate in Democracy-Building Discussions

On 30 September, GOPAC Argentina held a panel session at Democracia Global’s seventh Altiero Spinelli Symposium in Buenos Aires, Argentina. GOPAC Argentina members Manuel Garrido, Luis Petri, Juan Pablo Arenaza, and Alejandro Cacace spoke on the role that parliamentarians play in the fight against corruption and drew on their 
own experiences as Argentinian legislators. Additionally, Prof Fernando Iglesias, Director of the Coalition for a Latin American-Caribbean Criminal Court Against Transnational Organised Crime (COPLA) participated in a session on the progress in the fight to eradicate organised crime in the region.  

GOPAC Presents at African, Caribbean, Pacific - European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly

On 25 September, GOPAC member and Chair of the Parliamentary Oversight Global Task Force (GTF-PO) Dr Gavin Woods delivered a presentation before the Committee on Political Affairs of the African, Caribbean, Pacific - European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU JPA) at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. The ACP-EU JPA brings together parliamentarians from countries across Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific region with members of the European 
Parliament. In his presentation, Dr Woods explained how parliamentarians can best fulfil their anti-corruption oversight role and listed key components that should be incorporated in any government’s anti-corruption legal framework, including whistleblower protection legislation. He stressed the need for parliamentary capacity-building efforts and an adequate understanding of laws, systems, and practices that have an impact on opportunities for corruption.
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