Media Center



  June 6, 2006

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic—The first Hemispheric Report on progress against corruption in the countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) was presented today to the OAS General Assembly. The document offers an overview of recommendations made to the countries with a view to strengthening the tools they have available to confront this problem.

The General Assembly also received reports related to hemispheric efforts to combat illegal drugs. These reports evaluate the degree to which countries have complied with recommendations assigned to them through the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM).

Both processes seek to strengthen national and regional policies, and advance hemispheric cooperation to address these problems effectively and multilaterally.

Anti-corruption efforts:

The anti-corruption report summarizes the results of the First Round of Review of the Mechanism for Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (known by its Spanish acronym, MESICIC). Twenty-eight OAS member states participate in this process, which monitors how the states parties carry out the anti-corruption treaty and recommends concrete measures to improve compliance.

Secretary General José Miguel Insulza underscored the accomplishment of completing the first round of this process and explained that the results reflect the serious efforts on the part of OAS member states to increase transparency in public administration. This is not about making accusations against countries, he said, but rather about ensuring – through a process that is “cooperative and constructive” – that they comply with the commitments they undertook in adopting this first-of-its-kind treaty.

For his part, the President of the MESICIC Committee of Experts, Moisés Herrera Solía, explained how the review process works and summarized some of the recommendations made. For example, he said, 24 of the countries reviewed were assigned the recommendation to take appropriate steps to prevent conflicts of interest following a period of public service. It was suggested to 22 countries that they adopt measures to provide whistle-blowers with guarantees against any threats, retaliations or reprisals they may face.

Anti-drug efforts:

The national and hemispheric reports on the drug issue examine compliance with more than 500 recommendations made during the MEM Third Evaluation Round, 2003-2004. This process was established in 1998 by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), and is “a great accomplishment of the OAS,” noted the current Prsident of CICAD, Mauricio Dorfler Ocampo.

In presenting the reports to the General Assembly, the CICAD President affirmed that the recommendations assigned to countries “constitute the central part of the MEM process.” Their primary objectives, he explained, are “to identify strengths, weaknesses, areas of progress and setbacks in each OAS member state, and to help shape policies and programs so they can respond more effectively to the drug problem.”

Dorfler Ocampo said the countries are implementing the recommendations. Of those made during the First Evaluation Round, he said, 91% have been fully implemented, while 70% of those from the Second Round have been put into effect. Of the total recommendations assigned to the countries a year ago, at the close of the Third Round, 30% have already been executed and 51% are going through that process.

He added that, based on the experience gained in the past years, the participants in the MEM process have revised, revitalized and strengthened the process and its diagnostic instrument, to update it and make it more effective.

Reference: E-009AG36