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INTER-AMERICAN PROGRAM FOR COOPERATION IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION


The member states of the Organization of American States (OAS), within the framework of the purposes and principles set forth in the Charter of the Organization, bearing in mind the commitment made by the heads of state and government at the Summit of the Americas in 1994 to fight the scourge of corruption, and on the basis of the provisions of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, the international legal instrument that serves as the general framework for the commitments assumed by member states, have decided to adopt the following Inter-American Program for Cooperation in the Fight against Corruption, the implementation of which will call for the following measures:

I. IN THE LEGAL AREA

1. Adopt a strategy, through the Permanent Council and its Working Group on Probity and Public Ethics, to secure prompt ratification of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

2. Continue to compile national laws on matters related to fighting corruption and identifying corrupt acts.

3. Conduct comparative studies of legal provisions in the member states, identifying similarities, differences, and any loopholes.

4. Examine the legal definitions of illicit enrichment and transnational bribery on the basis of the work of the Inter-American Juridical Committee, including its proposals on model laws in this area.

5. Identify other avenues toward the drafting of model laws that include the most advanced anticorruption approaches. Such model laws could cover both general and specific aspects of this activity.

6. Begin to draft codes of conduct for public officials, as provided in Article III.1 of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, as member states so request. Account should be taken here of recent work at the United Nations.

7. Consider the problem of the laundering of assets or proceeds derived from corruption, providing for activities allowing the states to criminalize the laundering of assets derived from corruption, if they have not already done so, in fulfillment of the commitment assumed under Article VI.1.d of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

8. Organize the information produced by these activities, promoting the use of electronic media, so as to make the Organization a source of legal information and, in general, a publicity and training tool for anticorruption efforts.

 

II. IN THE INSTITUTIONAL AREA

1. Identify public institutions in each member state that are engaged in anticorruption efforts, with special attention to the constitutional structure that sustains and organizes the group of institutions in each case, and the role of each, including the Judiciary, parliaments, comptroller's offices, public prosecutor's offices, institutions of the executive branch, police forces, and any specialized anticorruption bodies in those countries that have established them.

2. Promote the sharing of experience with a view to providing services for improving existing anticorruption institutions and systems.

3. Establish, if possible and advisable, a support system for government institutions charged with fighting corruption, with the participation of the Organization of American States.

4. Determine what the public institutions charged with fighting corruption need in order to carry out their functions more effectively; and provide, at the request of the member states, advisory services relating to existing experience at the institutional level, as well as assistance in training staff at those institutions.

5. Provide advisory services to help member states develop educational programs in the area of ethics and other matters related to the conduct of public officials and members of the private sector.

6. Publicize OAS anticorruption activities, using electronic and all other available media.

 

III. IN THE INTERNATIONAL AREA

Implement, if appropriate, a system of consultations by which to share experience and information with the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Inter-American Development Bank, among others, so as to enhance the understanding of each organization as it fights corruption, avoid duplication of efforts, and assess the prospects for joint projects.

 

IV. IN CIVIL SOCIETY

In order to create, maintain, and strengthen mechanisms for enlisting civil society and nongovernmental organizations in efforts to prevent corruption, under Article III.11 of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, the following activities are envisioned:

1. Conduct media publicity campaigns to secure the signature and ratification of, or accession to, as appropriate, the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

2. Share experience on the role of the press in fighting corruption.

3. Formulate programs to complement the formal education efforts the states might undertake through the educational system to promote the ethical values that underlie the fight against corruption.

4. Identify professional organizations whose activities could be linked to anticorruption efforts, so as to enlist the support of bar associations and associations of accountants and auditors, among others.

5. Establish means of enlisting, maintaining, and strengthening the participation of civil society and nongovernmental organizations in anticorruption efforts.

2. To instruct the Permanent Council to supervise the implementation of this Program.

3. To instruct the General Secretariat to implement the measures provided for in this Program, through the Secretariat for Legal Affairs, within allocated resources approved in the program-budget and other resources, and to report to the General Assembly at its next regular session on the measures taken and progress made.

4. To express its special appreciation to the Chair of the Working Group on Probity and Public Ethics, Ambassador Edmundo Vargas Carreņo, Permanent Representative of Chile, for an excellent job in making it possible to adopt the Inter-American Program for Cooperation in the Fight against Corruption.

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