Fighting high level corruption
St. Petersburg, July 16, 2006
We, the Leaders of the G8, renew our commitment to fight corruption, in particular at the highest levels, and to improve transparency and accountability. Corruption threatens our shared agenda on global security and stability, open markets and free trade, economic prosperity, and the rule of law. We recognize the link between corruption and weak governance. We underscore our commitment to prosecute acts of corruption and to preventing corrupt holders of public office from gaining access to the fruits of their kleptocratic activities in our financial systems.
Large-scale corruption by individuals who hold senior executive, judicial, and legislative positions can have a devastating effect on democracy, the rule of law, and economic and social development. We recognize that corrupt practices contribute to the spread of organized crime and terrorism, undermine public trust in government, and destabilize economies. Corruption by holders of public office can deter foreign investment, stifle economic growth and sustainable development, and undermine legal and judicial systems. The net effect of corruption is felt most directly, and disproportionately, by the poor.
We emphasize the importance of effective preventive measures in fighting corruption. In 2003 at Evian, we noted that transparency inhibits corruption and promotes good governance, and we committed to work against corruption and the mismanagement of public resources. We have continued to promote transparency in public financial management and accountability, including by following through on our 2004 Sea Island commitment to launch four compacts, and our 2005 Gleneagles commitment to increase support for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and countries implementing it. We have committed to seek, when appropriate and in accordance with national laws, to deny entry and safe haven to public officials found guilty of corruption, enforce rigorously our anti-bribery laws, and establish procedures and controls to conduct enhanced due diligence on accounts of "politically exposed persons." Our Justice and Home Affairs Ministers have undertaken to advance recovery of the proceeds of high level large-scale corruption, taking into account final disposal of confiscated property, where appropriate, including through holding G8 regional asset recovery workshops and the creation of best practices for modalities of disposition and return of recovered assets. We maintained our commitment to implement and promote the FATF recommendations, the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime, and the UN Convention Against Corruption. We note the critical contribution of non-governmental organizations in the fight against corruption.
Today, we advance our commitment against high level large-scale public corruption. We commit to:
- continue to investigate and prosecute corrupt public officials and those who bribe them, including by vigorously enforcing our laws against bribery of foreign public officials to ensure that the supply side of corruption is effectively prosecuted consistent with domestic legislation;
- work with all the international financial centers and our private sectors to deny safe haven to assets illicitly acquired by individuals engaged in high level corruption. In this framework, we reiterate our commitment to take concrete steps to ensure that financial markets are protected from criminal abuse, including bribery and corruption, by pressing all financial centres to attain and implement the highest international standards of transparency and exchange of information;
- implement fully our commitments to seek, when appropriate and in accordance with national laws, to deny entry and safe haven, to public officials found guilty of corruption, developing a compendium of our best practices and promoting information sharing on those identified as corrupt;
- work together and with international and regional development institutions to rigorously combat fraud and corruption and misuse of public resources, to support national efforts to combat corruption by building capacity and strengthening the rule of law, fiscal transparency and accountability, and reforming public procurement systems and to develop and promote mechanisms that support effective return of recovered assets. We call upon the Presidents of the Multilateral Development Banks to submit to their memberships by September 2006 a sound, coordinated and comprehensive anticorruption strategy in accordance with relevant international conventions and consistent across countries, and with a view to improved efforts against corruption;
- support the global ratification and implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption and call upon those States that have not already ratified the UNCAC to do so at the earliest date possible. We also commit to target our assistance to prevent corruption through transparency and accountability while enhancing capacity to detect, prosecute, and recover the proceeds of large-scale corruption, and building strong systems to prevent exploitation and promote responsible and accountable leadership. We will work together at the conference of State Parties to promote effective implementation of our shared commitments;
- ensure vigorous implementation of the OECD Anti-bribery Convention by parties to the Convention, including through ensuring that domestic law adopted in this framework is effectively implemented and through further effective peer review evaluation;
- promote governance and greater fiscal transparency, notably through the Sea Island Compacts and by supporting the implementation of EITI;
- work towards including in our regional and bilateral trade agreements provisions promoting transparency in government procurement and concessions, as well as provisions on trade facilitation; and
- fight vigorously against money laundering, including by prosecuting money laundering offences and by implementing the revised recommendations of the FATF-related customer due diligence, transparency of legal persons and arrangements which are essential to tackling corruption.
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