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Secretary General Insulza Emphasizes Positive Response to On-Site Visits of the OAS Anti-Corruption Committee from Countries of the Region

  March 19, 2014

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today highlighted the contributions that the Committee of Experts of the Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) makes throughout the region to fight against this scourge, and he mentioned the positive response from member states to on-site visits as he addressed the 23rd Meeting of the Committee, which is currently in session at the OAS headquarters in Washington, DC.

Secretary General Insulza said that the MESICIC is progressing successfully in the evaluations planned for the Fourth Round, and in particular he emphasized that the review process on the implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption “is now more thorough than before since it has incorporated on-site visits to States, which are part of the mechanism.” He stressed that “in situ visits, which take place with the approval of the host country, are requested more often by member countries, which at first didn’t happen easily.” Of the 34 active member states of the OAS, 31 make up the MESICIC.

The head of the hemispheric institution opened the second day of the 23rd Meeting of the Committee of Experts of the MESICIC, which will continue through Friday, March 21.
During the meeting, the Technical Secretariat of the MESICIC will present the preliminary reports on the on-site visits to Canada, Ecuador, Guyana, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic conducted within the framework of the Fourth Round of evaluations of the mechanism.

In his address, the OAS Secretary General commended “the analyses and recommendations made by the Committee of Experts because they are the most useful tool to strengthen the instruments available in our countries to combat corruption and they also give accountability and transparency to public management.” Insulza recalled that the Committee of Experts has already presented two progress reports on the implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (First Report and Second Report) that “reflect a significant amount of concrete actions carried out by the countries, which were also included in the hemispheric reports recorded for each of the three rounds of evaluation, successfully carried out by this Committee.”

In this regard, Secretary General Insulza indicated that at the last OAS General Assembly held last year in La Antigua Guatemala, the countries of the Americas recognized “the quality of model laws in the fight against corruption that resulted from a participatory development process, which was the work of this Committee of Experts and its Technical Secretariat. In addition, he highlighted the role given to civil society organization in the MESICIC. “We have received repeated recognitions of the MESICIC for its high level of openness to civil society organizations,” he said. He then recalled that the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre published a comparative analysis indicating that MESICIC is “the mechanism that contains the stronger formal requirements for the participation of civil society.”

The OAS Secretary General noted his particular interest in meetings of groups of experts in topics related to the priority objectives of the OAS, such as democratic governance and citizen security. In this regard, he recalled that the Charter of the OAS states that representative democracy is an indispensable condition for stability, peace, and development in the region. “That is the foundation for our work,” added Secretary General Insulza, who also quoted the Inter-American Democratic Charter that establishes “transparency and probity as central pillars of our action.” The head of the OAS also recalled that in theDeclaration on Security in the Americas, adopted in Mexico in 2003, establishes the commitment of the States of the Hemisphere “to the fight against both passive and active corruption, which constitutes a threat to the security of our states and undermines public and private institutions, because corruption severely damages collective interests, the interests of a democratic society, blatantly violates the rule of law, and most of all, erodes the trust that citizens must have in democratic institutions.” “We therefore believe that it is legitimate for citizens to verify this directly and for our action to become thus more open and more transparent,” added Secretary General Insulza who commended the Committee of Experts on its progress in implementing the MESICIC. He then added that the OAS General Secretariat will continue acting as Technical Secretariat of the Committee of Experts “because we are convinced that its work is a priority within our Organization.”

The MESICIC is a cooperation mechanism between States, with wide participation of civil society organizations, established within the framework of the OAS, in which the legal/institutional framework of each country is reviewed for suitability with the Inter-American Convention against Corruption as well as the objective results achieved therein. The incorporation of on-site visits as a stage and integral part of the review process represents an innovative and pioneering initiative in the context of the OAS, which, with the support of its Technical Secretariat, has further strengthened this reciprocal review mechanism among States.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The B-Roll of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-097/14