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May 11, 2009
CEOs Urge Action Against Corruption
    by Robert Kropp

Signatories assert that an implementation review mechanism is essential for ensuring the success of preventive measures and law enforcement provisions included in the UN Convention against Corruption.

In advance of the third session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, to be held in Doha, Qatar, in November 2009, 24 CEOs of global corporations in 14 countries have called for the establishment of a rigorous implementation review mechanism to ensure that the Convention is able to build momentum in overcoming corporate corruption.

Asserting that "widespread corruption in countries discourages investment and makes it difficult for companies to compete on an ethical basis," the signatories of the letter, entitled Implementati on Review of the UN Convention against Corruption, offered three suggestions.

The implementation review process should have adequate and dependable long-term funding, should include country visits with peer reviewers from other countries, and should function transparently, with published reports. Input should be sought from the private sector and other stakeholders.

The signatories argue further that "in a period of deep financial and economic turmoil, an effective implementation review mechanism is essential. The economic crisis will inevitably place severe strains on worldwide competition, threatening an erosion of ethical standards that will be hard to reverse."

The UN Convention against Corruption was adopted in 2003. In its Statement of Purpose, the Convention included the promotion of measures to prevent and combat corruption, support for international cooperation and technical assistance in the prevention of and fight against corruption, and the promotion of integrity, accountability and proper management of public affairs and public property.

The Convention has been signed by 140 countries and ratified by 136, including the United States.

The CEOs were invited to submit the letter by anti-corruption initiatives that include the United Nations Global Compact and the World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI).

Among the US-based signatories of the letter were CEOs from Fluor Corporation, General Electric, and Newmont Mining.


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