(New York, 15 February 2008) – Representatives of international business met in Bali on 30 January 2008 for a special meeting titled “Business Coalition: the United Nations Convention against Corruption as a New Market Force”. The meeting was held on the occasion of the Second Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Business representatives in Bali adopted a declaration calling on governments to establish effective anti-corruption mechanisms to review the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The declaration forms an integral part of the report of the Conference adopted by the Conference of States Parties.
Jointly organized by the United Nations Global Compact, UNODC, OECD, International Chamber of Commerce, World Economic Forum (PACI) and Transparency International, the meeting underscored the commitment of the business community to the fight against corruption. It also provided an opportunity for business to express its views on the role that business can play to ensure the effective implementation of the Convention.
Participants discussed the need to work towards the alignment of existing business principles with the fundamental values enshrined in the Convention, and to develop mechanisms to review companies’ compliance with the realigned business principles. They also agreed to include effective whistleblower protection, due diligence in the selection of agents and intermediaries, as well as address facilitation payments, described as “one of the cardinal inconsistencies of existing business principles”, in their anti-corruption policies and strategies. Finally, participants discussed the importance of providing support to small and medium-size enterprises in the establishment and implementation of appropriate internal anti-corruption policies and procedures, and committed to strengthening private-public partnerships for combating corruption in business.
A keynote address was delivered by Ambassador Chul-ki Ju, Vice-President of the Global Compact Korea Network. In his speech, Ambassador Ju stressed that “in the fight against corruption, the private sector has to assume further role responding to the call of world citizens.” The principles of the Global Compact and the UN Convention Against Corruption will be our major weapons”, he said. His remarks were followed by presentations by Heiko Huensch, Corporate Communications & Government Affairs at Siemens, and by Y.W. Junardy, Managing Director and Chief Compliance Officer of the Rajawali Corporation.
The meeting highlighted the important role business can play in supporting the work of governments, making a contribution to the development of international soft law. Although modest in scale, experiences made from Bali and at the recent African Union Private Sector Summit illustrate how active and engaged business can be part of the solution and contribute to strengthen the work of governments.
About the UNCAC
The United Nations Convention against Corruption (Convention) is the first legally binding international anti-corruption agreement and provides a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to fight corruption globally. The Convention, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 31 October 2003 (Resolution 58/4), includes measures on prevention, criminalization, international cooperation and asset recovery. The Convention entered into force on 14 December 2005. Conferences of the States Parties to the Convention were held in Jordan in December 2006 and in Indonesia in February 2008. The third Conference has been scheduled for December 2009 in Qatar.
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