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GOPAC Holds Sixth Forum of Parliamentarians in Russia

On 5 November, GOPAC members and observers gathered in Saint Petersburg, Russia for the sixth Forum of Parliamentarians, a side-event organised in parallel to the sixth session of the Conference of States Parties (CoSP) to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). The CoSP-UNCAC is one of the preeminent events in the anti-corruption calendar occurring every two years and provides an opportunity for member States to strengthen cooperation, promote the objectives supported by the UNCAC, and improve its implementation.

As part of the Forum, GOPAC organised two panel sessions: Parliamentary Engagement with the UNCAC: Successes and Challenges in Pacific Island States and Prosecuting Grand Corruption: Let Us Bring Them to Justice. The first session was moderated by GOPAC Oceania Chair John Hyde and Annika Wythes (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), Luisa Senibulu (United Nations Development Programme), the Honourable Nandi Glassie (GOPAC Cook Islands Chair), and Lord Fusitu’a (GOPAC Tonga Chair) participated as panellists. It shed light on the ways in which parliamentarians can provide assistance with the promotion of the 
ratification of the UNCAC, its implementation and review process, and the tools that can be utilised to drive forward initiatives.

The second panel, co-organised with Transparency International (TI), was moderated by Jean Pesme (World Bank) and panellists included Mr Hyde, Mary Jane Ncube (TI-Zimbabwe), and Jose Briz (Government of Guatemala). The panel discussed the development of international legal instruments to prosecute perpetrators of the most destructive acts of corruption. An example discussed was the establishment of a UN-sponsored investigative commission in Guatemala which has been highly praised for addressing that country’s corruption challenges head-on, by helping to bring down and arresting former President Otto Pérez Molina.

GOPAC members and observers adopted a Declaration, which strengthens GOPAC’s commitment to the UNCAC, and the use of the UNCAC and other global mechanisms towards the international prosecution of grand corruption and the recuperation of stolen assets.

Strengthening Parliamentary Ethics and Conduct in Nauru

In early-November, GOPAC Oceania and the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, with the collaboration of the Parliament of Nauru, organised a workshop in Yaren, Nauru to discuss the development of the country’s Leadership Code. Once adopted, the Leadership Code will become Nauru’s very first parliamentary code of ethics and conduct and will play an important role in carrying out the government’s commitment to transparency and accountability. In addition to welcoming government representatives, the workshop was attended by 31 Nauruan citizens who have been selected as “integrity 
champions”. Essentially, this group will act as information collectors for the Leadership Code consultation process as they visit every household on the Pacific island to learn and record the issues that Nauruans would like to see addressed in the Code.

“Nauru is making sure parliamentarians and the community are fully involved in implementing and reviewing Nauru’s commitment to the UNCAC which it signed in 2012,” said GOPAC Oceania Chair John Hyde, who moderated the workshop.

GOPAC Serbia Renews Chapter Leadership

Earlier in November, members of GOPAC Serbia called a meeting to hold their national chapter’s elections and Olgica Batić was unanimously re-elected as Chair. The other members of the Executive Committee were also re-elected to their respective positions. GOPAC Serbia intends on
utilising the UNDP-GOPAC Anti-Corruption Assessment Tool for Parliamentarians to perform an evaluation of their country’s implementation of the UNCAC and subsequently produce a report and action plan to guide their further activities.

GOPAC Participates at World Forum for Democracy

On 19 November, GOPAC Program Director Jean Pierre Chabot delivered a presentation at the fourth World Forum for Democracy, held in Strasbourg, France. The goal of the annual Forum is to discuss the main challenges that democracies around the world are confronted to and encourage democratic innovation. This year’s meeting was primarily focused on the issue regarding how countries can adequately address security issues
while not compromising the freedom of the citizenry and democratic stability. In his presentation, Mr Chabot explored the idea of public juries to grant surveillance warrants, in an effort to democratise the oversight of security agencies.

To learn more about the proposed idea, please listen to the full panel session.

GOPAC Member Attends IACA Regional Summer Academy

GOPAC Mexico Chair and Board Member Dr Carlos Alberto Perez Cuevas participated in the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) Regional Summer Academy - Latin America being held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 21-27 November 2015. This week-long programme allows participants to strengthen their 
competencies, exchange best practices, hear the latest research and case studies from world-leading experts and apply fresh ideas in the work. GOPAC encourages its members to learn more about IACA programs and participate in future trainings. 
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