UNODC third Talk Series in 2010 calls for taking shared responsibility on combating corruption
Jakarta (Indonesia), 17 May 2010 - On 29 April, UNODC and the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission jointly hosted the third event in a long-running series of public discussions on combating corruption.
The event, entitled "It is a shared responsibility: disentangling the corruption triangle" was opened by Bambang Sapto Pratomosunu, Secretary-General of the Commission. Mr. Pratomosunu stressed the importance of sharing knowledge about the individual experiences of organizations when tackling corruption.
Keynote speaker Gretta Fenner, UNODC Corruption and Economic Crime Consultant, focused on the links between politics, bureaucracy and the private sector, and the implications of these connections for corruption. She noted that close relationships between business, political leaders and the bureaucracy result in conflicts of interest and ultimately a form of systemic corruption that undermines democratic structures, the rule of law and social cohesion. She pointed out that disentangling the link between politics and bureaucracy on the one hand, and business on the other, remains the biggest challenge when fighting corruption.
More specifically, Ms. Fenner stated that anti-corruption measures should focus on large-scale political corruption, and suggested that this could be achieved by safeguarding and strengthening State institutions that are responsible for checks and balances, oversight and control. The United Nations Convention against Corruption provides important guidance in this respect. In addition, strengthening the foundations of democracy and civil society at large is essential in order to maintain pressure on politicians and bureaucrats to reform corrupt systems.
Furthermore, it is essential to stop the supply of illicit funds to corrupt leaders and corrupt bureaucrats.
Ms. Fenner said that combating large-scale international bribery was an effective approach and "that action had to be taken by foreign jurisdictions, notably signatory States to the OECD Convention, to prosecute their companies who bribe in international transactions. That Indonesian law enforcement authorities need to collaborate more closely with these jurisdictions in the context of international legal assistance. The Indonesian business community similarly has responsibilities to strengthen business ethics, while competent government authorities must build their accounting and auditing skills to oversee business operations."
In this context, the legal risk associated with bribery has to be such that it becomes a business decision to renounce corrupt business practices.
Finally, it was also suggested that the international community, through diplomatic and foreign policy decisions, must take more decisive steps so as not to support kleptocractic regimes.
At the end of the talk, a lively question-and-answer session took place involving representatives of the public sector, civil society groups, international donors, universities and the media.