Media Center

Press Release


  March 27, 2006

Anti-corruption experts from around the region opened a meeting today at the Organization of American States OAS in which they will examine progress on this issue in five countries, thus completing the first full round of review under the Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption.

Once they have considered and adopted reports on Belize, Brazil, Grenada, Guyana and Suriname, the government experts will have analyzed anti-corruption efforts in the 28 countries that participate in the mechanism (known as (MESICIC), by its Spanish acronym). They will also consider a draft hemispheric report that summarizes the first-round results, and will look at proposals to strengthen the methodology for the second round.

Gonzalo Sánchez, Government General Auditor of Chile, is chairing the Ninth Meeting of the Committee of Experts, which continues through Saturday, April 1. OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza will address the MESICIC meeting this Thursday.

During a brief opening ceremony this morning, the OAS Director of International Legal Affairs, Jean-Michel Arrighi, welcomed participants on behalf of the General Secretariat and underscored the importance of the experts’ work in seeing that the Inter-American Convention against Corruption is implemented.

Arrighi noted that public opinion polls in the region consistently show that citizens believe the fight against corruption should be a priority. “It is one of the essential issues that has to do with the quality of institutions and of the democratic system,” he said.

For his part, Jorge García González, who heads the OAS Office of Legal Cooperation, informed the government experts about workshops and other activities that are taking place in the region to implement the MESICIC recommendations and to promote the importance of this issue in the hemisphere. During the last regular session of the OAS General Assembly, which took place last June in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the member states declared 2006 the “Inter-American Year of the Fight against Corruption,” within the framework of the MESICIC process.

Before the official opening this morning, the experts held an informal meeting with representatives of civil society organizations. Speaking on behalf of a regional network of Transparency International chapters, Miguel Angel Peñalillo presented methodological proposals to strengthen the MESICIC and called for a higher level of participation of civil society in the process. In his remarks, Pedro Baracui, a consultant for Transparencia Brasil, offered input for the experts’ consideration in the review of Brazil.

Reference: E-070/06