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Ten Years of Fighting Corruption and Promoting Good Governance

GOPAC commemorated its 10th anniversary in October. Over the past decade, it has grown to include more than 50 national working chapters to promote good governance and the rule of law all over the world.

To celebrate the milestone, the GOPAC Canada national chapter organised a lunch that was hosted by the Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons. Many GOPAC partners and dignitaries joined the event, including the British Deputy High Commissioner, Mrs Corin Robertson, and the Chair of Transparency International (TI), the Hon Huguette Labelle. GOPAC CEO, John Williams and the Hon Huguette Labelle spoke during the luncheon of the gravity of corruption and the importance of collaborations between organizations such as GOPAC and TI.

GOPAC members took pause to review their accomplishments over the last decade, including:

  • Drafting and successfully introducing anti-money laundering legislation in the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan;
  • Drafting and tabling of two critical bills in the Parliament of Lebanon, on access to information and on whistleblower protection;
  • Implementing significant amendments to anti-money laundering laws in the Philippines;
  • Promoting the Handbook on Anti-Corruption and a Code of Ethics in the Parliament of Zambia; and
  • Strengthening anti-money laundering laws in Mexico.


A successful fight against corruption hinges on empowered legislators working with the benefit of strong legislation. GOPAC and its members will continue to be a leading force to make this a reality in more and more countries in the decades to come.

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Fifth Global Conference of Parliamentarians Against Corruption

Every two years, the Global Conference of Parliamentarians Against Corruption brings together GOPAC members, legislators, and stakeholders from around the world. The upcoming 2013 Global Conference in Manila 2013 promises to be every bit as successful as its predecessors.

The 2013 Global Conference will offer our members insightful sessions with experienced members of the anti-corruption community, including GOPAC Global Task Force members and stakeholders from organizations such as

the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Philippines Office of the Ombudsman, and Global Partners and Associates.

Legislators are leaders in the fight against corruption, and the 2013 Global Conference will be a valuable opportunity for those legislators to learn from one another and share experiences. The Global Conference will begin 31 January, and registration is open at www.gopacmanila2013.com.

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Power to the People: Parliamentarians, Citizens, and Anti-Corruption

A GOPAC delegation will be part of the 15th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Brasilia, Brazil, 07-10 November 2012. GOPAC will also lead Power to the People Parliamentarians, Citizens, and Anti- Corruption, a panel session with Dr Naser Al-Sane, GOPAC’s Global Chair, Ricardo Garcia Cervantes, GOPAC America Latina y el Caribe’s Regional Chair, John Williams, GOPAC’s CEO, and the Hon Fernanda Borges, GOPAC Timor-Leste National Chair.

The panel will present GOPAC’s anti-corruption work and its Global Task Force model to the international anti-corruption community, and will share experiences from

different parts of the world – including the Arab Region, Latin America, and the emerging state of East Timor. The GOPAC experts will address the question of how legislators can remain engaged with their constituents and how civil society and parliament can work together to fight corruption.

We encourage GOPAC Members to join us for this landmark event by registering for the 15th International Anti-Corruption Conference at http://iacconference.org, and to take a moment to notify GOPAC GTF Advisor Vicki Baxter (vicki.baxter@gopacnetwork.org) if they will be attending.

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Capacity Building in Africa

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September and October were busy months for GOAPC parliamentarians in Africa. GOPAC’s regional chapter in Africa, the African Parliamentary Network Against Corruption (APNAC), hosted two workshops to help build capacity within the region and to discuss amendments to the APNAC Constitution. The first meeting was held in September, in Entebbe, Uganda, and drew together over 20 members and stakeholders from Anglophone Africa. A later meeting in October, in Dakar, Senegal, brought together 11 members from Francophone Africa.

In Entebbe, GOPAC Global Task Force Program Advisor, Vicki Baxter Amade worked

alongside with Transparency International (TI) and the Institute of Directors (IoD) to provide expert advice on governance and ethics, during discussions on the APNAC Constitution. Mrs. Amade also facilitated the working group that reviewed the APNAC Code of Conduct, and along with the other two facilitators, drafted the final meeting’s final communique.

At both meetings, members resolved to call for an APNAC General Meeting to be held within the next three months.

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Transparency, Accountability, and Integrity in the Middle East

As part of GOPAC’s ongoing relationship with Transparency International, GOPAC Chair, Dr Naser Al Sane, spoke at a TI anti-corruption conference in Amman, Jordan at the beginning of October. The roundtable session, Justice and Social Accountability, dealt with judicial transparency, the rule of law, the role of civil society, and social accountability.

This roundtable was the first in a series seeking to build a consensus on solutions most appropriate for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and to provide practical recommendations for decision-makers. The series is part of TI’s MENA Programme – Promoting Transparency, Accountability, and Integrity in the Middle East and North Africa Region.

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GOPAC Collaborates with Revenue Watch Institute

From 26-28 September, GOPAC’s regional chapter in the Middle East, Arab Region Parliamentarians Against Corruption (ARPAC), co-sponsored a workshop with the Revenue Watch Institute, in Beirut, Lebanon. This partnership brought together legislators from six countries in the Middle East and North Africa to discuss lawmaking and oil and mining industry oversight. The parliamentary delegations came from a wide range of political backgrounds, representing both government and opposition parties in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen.

Participants explored their role in overseeing the management of the oil, gas, and mining

sectors. In many resource-rich nations, citizens do not share in that wealth, but grapple with poverty, conflict, and corruption. Participants concluded the workshop by developing country action plans with legislative priorities.

GOPAC CEO John Williams made a presentation at the event, which highlighted the crucial role that GOPAC’s international network of legislators plays in the fight against corruption. He reminded the audience that while the fight may start with one voice, the fight needs a strong and wide coalition to succeed.

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ARPAC Elects New Board of Directors

Members of the GOPAC regional chapter in the Middle East, Arab Region Parliamentarians Against Corruption (ARPAC), gathered for the fifth ARPAC Annual General Meeting, at the end of September in Amman, Jordan. The two-day event began with workshop sessions on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and a draft Arab Convention Against Corruption. Members also elected a new Board of Directors and discussed the organization's strategy and plan of action, funding strategies, and budget.

GOPAC Chair Dr. Naser Al Sane and GOPAC CEO John Williams joined GOPAC members

from Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, and Yemen at the event. Legislators from Tunisia interested in starting a GOPAC national chapter were also present.

GOPAC welcomes and congratulates Mr. Mohammed Saadi on his election as the new Chair of ARPAC, and Me Ghassan Moukheiber as Vice-Chair. They are joined on the ARPAC executive by Mr. Azmi Shuaibi as treasurer and Mr. Abdullah Boano as Secretary. Each has been elected to a two-year mandate.

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GOPAC at the IPU Assembly

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GOPAC CEO John Williams spoke at the 127th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Quebec City, 21-26 October 2012. Mr. Williams was a member of the panel on parliamentary immunity.

In his remarks, Mr. Williams presented his case against extensive parliamentary immunity,

arguing that it is counterproductive and outdated. He drew on the recent decision by the Slovak Parliament that abolished the requirement for parliamentary authorisation before a member of parliament can be prosecuted.

Collaboration is crucial to a successful fight against corruption, and GOPAC was delighted by the opportunity to participate in the IPU Assembly. The IPU is an international organization of Parliaments established in 1889. It is a focal point for world-wide parliamentary dialogue and works for the establishment of representative democracy in countries across the globe.

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