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Source: OAS Press Department

September 10, 2012

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today highlighted the growing interest of the countries of the region in the fight against corruption, at the opening of the 20th Meeting of Experts of the Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC). “It is gratifying that this is the twentieth time that this Committee has met and it confirms that our countries have a growing interest in participating,” said Secretary General Insulza at the inauguration of the event at OAS headquarters in Washington DC.

The Secretary General of the OAS said that, through MESICIC, the organization “continues to help our countries to strengthen their legal and institutional frameworks to address corruption more effectively, to make concrete recommendations so that they can benefit from the provisions of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, to prevent, detect, punish and eradicate this scourge, through its proper implementation.”

Among the “achievements reached” by MESICIC during the past Third Round of Committee of Experts, Insulza listed: the detection of bribes disguised as legitimate expenses intended to be used to obtain tax benefits, criminal liability for companies that pay bribes, both in the case of domestic and foreign officials, the establishment of accounting requirements that prevent the formation of “front companies” whose purpose is to commit acts of corruption, and avoiding that the defense of “professional secrets” serves as an obstacle to denouncing corruption.

The OAS Secretary General mentioned “the classification of illicit enrichment of public servants, a key issue for the effective punishment of corruption,” and “extradition for crimes of corruption.”


Moreover, Secretary General Insulza recalled that during the months of March and April 2012, Brazil, El Salvador, Mexico, Bolivia and Paraguay were visited by members of the Department of Legal Cooperation of the OAS; visits in which meetings were held with “more than 30 public institutions” of the five mentioned countries, and “more than 90 public officials” were interviewed.


During the sessions of the Meeting of the Committee of Experts participants will discuss mutual cooperation between MESICIC and the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a multilateral initiative initially promoted by the United States and Brazil - which many states in the region have joined - which seeks to encourage concrete commitments from governments, with the participation of civil society to improve transparency and access to information.


In this regard, Secretary General Insulza stressed that the Presidents of the United States, Barack Obama, and Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, “issued a statement last year, in which they pledged to jointly support the implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, including the development and use of national action plans and joint support of the visits in situ.”

Insulza said that “from the General Secretariat of the OAS we have supported the states by providing tools to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations that this Committee has made. Among these are the development of national Action Plans, a project which 17 States have already taken on: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republic Dominican, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.”


The chief representative of the hemispheric organization said that the General Secretariat “has promoted the exchange between our countries of knowledge and experience in fighting corruption, hosting events such as the Conference on Progress and Challenges in Hemispheric Cooperation against Corruption, held last year in Cali, Colombia, with the support of the government of that country.” On that issue, Insulza said “we are very satisfied with the explicit recognition made ​​by the Conference of States Parties to the MESICIC at its last meeting, concerning the usefulness of legal cooperation tools developed by the Technical Secretariat of MESICIC such as the systematization of national laws, legislative guides, model laws, the Anti-Corruption Portal of the Americas, and the Anti-Corruption Bulletin, as well as the Action Plans program mentioned above.


Finally, the head of the OAS said that “the OAS General Secretariat continues to make available to the countries of the MESICIC more and better tools of cooperation to help them to fight corruption.”


The Twentieth Meeting of the Committee of Experts of MESICIC takes place from today, Monday 10 September until Friday 14 September in the Padilha Vidal Room of the General Secretariat`s building of the OAS. 


A gallery of photos of the event is available here.


The video of the event is available here.  

Edition N° 93 - September 2012

What is the MESICIC?

The Mechanism For Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, known as MESICIC for its Spanish acronym, is a tool to support the development of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption through cooperation between States Parties.

Read more here

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