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Press Release


  June 25, 2007

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today said that despite the progress already achieved, the international community should continue to work with “efficiency, objectivity and transparency” to combat the scourge of corruption.

Insulza stressed this perspective while inaugurating at OAS headquarters, a meeting of experts that will address during six days the efforts from six countries from the region to implement the measures established in the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. The meeting will review the progress of such measures related to government hiring and procurement of goods and services, and systems for protecting public servants and private citizens who report acts of corruption, as presented in reports from Bolivia, Peru, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago.

“Issues such as the ones that will be analyzed in this meeting, which refer to systems related to public servants, the hiring of goods and services by the State, classifying acts of corruption as offenses, and the protection of whistle blowers, have fundamental importance for the prevention and repression of corruption,” stated the head of the regional organization.

Secretary General Insulza told representatives of the 28 OAS member States that make up the Committee of Experts of the Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention, that the work methodology that has been carried out, besides providing a voice to civil society, has consolidated, providing for the States as much as for the experts that represent them to feel “comfortable,” in participating in this Mechanism.

“We all have understood that this is in essence a process of cooperation and reciprocal technical support. Not an inquisition tribunal or a setting for confrontation or senseless accusations,” noted Insulza.

He highlighted the interest expressed by the United Nations to take advantage of the experience of the OAS Mechanisms for Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention, and the agreements signed by the OAS and the Inter-American Development Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

“That is why we need to continue redoubling our cooperation efforts in this field, since the citizens expect that the fight against corruption to be more efficient. According to the last “Latinobarometro Report,” corresponding to 2005, in that year only 30% of Latin Americans had the perception that progress had been made in the fight against corruption,” he said.

“Given that the acts of corruption are increasingly more sophisticated, we should be more careful each time in examining the juridical and institutional instruments that we count on to confront this,” he added.

Insulza reiterated the OAS support to the work of the Committee, noting that through the Department of International Legal Affairs, it will continue executing the technical cooperation program designed to support the countries in the development of national Plans of Action to facilitate the know-how, coordination and effective implementation of the recommendations that this Committee has formulated.

Reference: E-154/07