|Ghassan Moukheiber speaks on Parliamentary Ethics at GRECO
Ghassan Moukheiber, MP (Lebanon) and Chair of GOPAC’s Parliamentary Ethics and Conduct Global Task Force, presented on parliamentary systems of ethics and conduct at the Council of Europe's Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) November 9, 2011. These parliamentary systems are preventative tools in fighting corruption. They include a code of conduct and financial disclosure procedures to restrict parliamentarians from accepting gifts and job contracts that could be in conflict with public interest.
This was the second time Mr. Moukheiber has been invited to speak at GRECO. He also chairs the Arab Region Parliamentarians Against Corruption (ARPAC). As part of ARPAC, Mr. Moukheiber works with a Lebanese and Arab group on the development of a special system of political ethics in Lebanon that could be adapted in Arab countries.
News Release (English only)
New Parliamentary Group in the U.K. Joins Fight Against Corruption
Members of Parliament in the U.K. gathered in London in November to launch the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption, an all-party parliamentary group to ensure the Government’s commitment to tackling corruption. Parliamentarians worked with Tearfund, an NGO, and other agencies such as the Hansard Society and the Bond Anti-Corruption Group, to initiate the group. Moving forward, the group also intends to link with GOPAC in the future.
“While a number of all-party groups and MPs in the UK have considered corruption issues as part of their wider work, this new all-party parliamentary group will provide a focal point for British parliamentarians to work together to champion best practice, and to work alongside parliamentarians in all parts of the world to play an essential role in defeating corruption at every level in society,” said Catherine McKinnell, British MP for Newcastle upon Tyne North and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption.
ARPAC Hosts Workshop on Transparency in Oil and Gas Management for Iraqi MPs
Arab Region Parliamentarians against Corruption (ARPAC) organized a three-day workshop for Iraqi MPs on transparency in Oil and Gas management and the oversight role of parliamentarians. The event was held in Beirut on November 17-19, 2011. The main objective of the workshop was to review the three draft laws on oil resource management in Iraq from a transparency in management perspective.
The three-day workshop was divided into several working sessions. Some of the topics explored included the landscape of the petroleum industry in Iraq and the current status of petroleum policy-making in Iraq. Participants had the opportunity to work on mapping roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities in the draft Iraqi oil and gas law. They also worked on defining the role of the North Oil Company and its governance in the law and a reviewed the law’s revenue management provisions. Finally, participants reviewed the key elements of the law and debated the importance of each.
The workshop ended with recommendations on ways to move forward with expected action from MPs. Participants recommended duplicating the workshop in the Iraqi Parliament to share the knowledge gained from the workshop with more parliamentarians. They emphasised the need for transparent policies regarding the management of this vital sector for all Iraqis. Moreover, MPs suggested forming a committee from those present and other MPs to discuss the technical aspects of the law and bridge the political differences regarding the law.
This workshop is the second in a series of three from Supporting the Oversight capacity of Iraqi Parliamentarians on Oil and Gas, an 18-month project funded by the Revenue Watch Institute.
GOPAC Releases Report from Fourth Forum of Parliamentarians
GOPAC sponsored the fourth Forum of Parliamentarians at the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on October 26, 2011 in Marrakech, Morocco. The Forum focused on how parliamentarians should hold governments accountable to ensure the implementation of the UNCAC and to solidify a proper reporting system is in place. Approximately 50 Members of Parliament, civil servants and civil society representatives discussed the role of parliamentarians in the UNCAC. The event was chaired by GOPAC Chair Dr. Naser Al Sane and presenters were GOPAC CEO Mr. John Williams, President of the Mali chapter of the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption Mr. Amadou Bouare, and Mr. Roy Cullen, Chair of the GOPAC Global Task Force on Anti-Money Laundering.
At the conclusion of the Forum the group approved a Declaration which was later presented to the Conference of States Parties to the UNCAC. GOPAC and its partners also recommitted themselves to work on each aspect of the Declaration and towards implementing the UNCAC in their respective countries.
Fourth Forum of Parliamentarians Report
GTF-AML Chair sits on UNCAC Coalition Panel at Conference of States Parties
The Chair of the GOPAC’s Anti-Money Laundering Global Task Force, Hon. Roy Cullen, P.C., was a panellist at the Conference of States Parties session UNCAC Coalition Panel: Best Practices on Asset Recovery and Anti-Money Laundering. During the session, he presented the GOPAC Anti-Money Laundering Action Guide for Parliamentarians. The panel was moderated by Maud Perdriel of Sherpa, the French-based NGO working on human rights issues. Mr. Cullen welcomed a large number of questions from the audience on how GOPAC can provide support in the area of AML and how to set up National Chapters. He also received numerous positive comments about the guide.
Tearfund Releases Anti-Corruption Report
UK-based international aid and development agency Tearfund has just released Better Together: Evidence of the crucial role that citizens play in fighting corruption. The report outlines some of the practical ways in which citizens and their elected representatives have played, and could play, a part in tackling corruption and implementing the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. As part of the report, Tearfund interviewed Dr. Naser Al Sane, GOPAC Chair and Hon. Given Lubinda, MP (Zambia), GOPAC Vice-Chair and Chair of the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC). The report also cited from the Final Report of GOPAC’s third Global Conference in Kuwait.
Tearfund’s report was launched at the Fourth Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption during the UNCAC Coalition Panel: Citizens and elected representatives involvement in the fight against corruption presented by Tearfund. Participating on the panel was GOPAC Chair Dr. Naser Al Sane.
New Home for GOPAC Global Secretariat
The GOPAC Global Secretariat has grown considerable over the last four months and as such was in need of new office space. The team just completed the move and can now be contacted at:
GOPAC Global Secretariat – Ontario
255 Albert Street, Suite 904
K1P 6A9 Canada
GOPAC Global Secretariat – Alberta
7 St. Anne Street, Suite 121
St. Albert, Alberta
T8N 2X4 Canada
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