Media Center

Press Release


  December 12, 2006

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, reiterated that countries in the region need to continue to work together within the OAS to overcome the scourge of corruption in the hemisphere. Insulza spoke today to the Committee of Experts of the Follow-Up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, which is meeting this week at OAS headquarters in Washington.

“The progress made to date has confirmed that in this area, as in others, the path we must take is one of cooperation,” Insulza said. He emphasized that this exercise is being carried out to “evaluate, correct and cooperate,” with the goal of helping countries overcome their deficiencies on this issue.

The experts are following up on the progress achieved and steps that are still needed in order to implement the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. The Tenth Meeting of the Committee of Experts is beginning its Second Round of analysis and within this framework will consider reports on Argentina, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Ecuador and Honduras.

Insulza noted that “contrary to the attitude of the skeptics who think that nothing can be done to combat corruption, and that we are condemned to live with it, this mechanism shows that there are measures we can collectively take to confront corruption.” The Secretary General recalled that the treaty and its related mechanism were conceived as instruments to strengthen hemispheric cooperation against corruption.

During the six-day meeting, the experts of the states parties to the anticorruption treaty will consider, among other issues, a presentation by civil society organizations, the country reports and – also in relation to the six countries mentioned – a follow-up to the recommendations from the First Round, which concluded in March of this year.

The Secretary General highlighted the work carried out by the OAS in recent years to confront this problem, recalling that in 1996, “at a time when some still debated whether this was an international issue, we adopted the first Convention on this matter.” He explained that this step paved the way for other international forums to subsequently adopt anti-corruption treaties. In addition, the OAS General Assembly declared 2006 as the “Inter-American Year of the Fight against Corruption.”

In thanking the experts for their hard work, Insulza said the proposals that can be achieved through the Follow-Up Mechanism are “central to the work of the OAS on the issue of corruption and good governance, which is one of the main priorities we have set for our General Secretariat.”

Insulza noted that this strategy serves as a “good navigation chart for hemispheric cooperation in this area. With the support of our states and other institutions, we hope to continue carrying out technical cooperation and other activities to support the implementation of its recommendations to the states parties,” he concluded.

The Inter-American Convention against Corruption was adopted in Caracas, Venezuela, in March 1996, and has been ratified by 33 OAS member states. Twenty-eight nations from the region participate in the follow-up process.

Reference: E-277/06