GLOBAL ANTI-CORRUPTION NETWORK SET TO MEET IN MANILA
The Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) will be holding a two-day
regional meeting from 30 September - 1 October 2010 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
This regional meeting of the South East Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC)
will uphold the same goals of GOPAC in the regional setting. This non-profit organization was established by the only Asian
representative to GOPAC and the founding President of SEAPAC, Senator Edgardo J. Angara.
Angara said that the fight against corruption is, "a continuous struggle and is not limited
by borders or cultures. Each nation that will be represented here will help to formulate an international cooperative strategy
to aid us in this fight."
"The SEAPAC meeting will show the world that the Philippines stands with its neighbors in a
commitment to combat corruption and the promotion of good governance," added Angara.
The three day meet is highlighted by the meeting of the GOPAC Task Force on the UN Convention
Against Corruption (GTF-UNCAC). The aim is to develop a tool-kit for parliamentarians that can aid them in the prevention
of corruption through policy and legislation and which can be used as a generic framework for parliamentarians in any country
in support of the UN's anti-corruption drives.
The parliamentarians from are also targeting the ratification of the United Nations Convention
Against Corruption (UNCAC) in all of the members' respective countries. The UNCAC, ratified by the Philippines in 2006, is
the first international legally binding anti-corruption tool which obliges countries to implement changes in laws and institutions.
The speakers at the UNCAC and Anti-corruption forum are Niall Johnston of the World Bank, Renaud
Meyer of the UNDP, and Dr. Jesus Estanislao of the University of Asia and the Pacific.
There are 36 expected delegates from 13 participating countries for the event from Canada,
Mexico, Malaysia, Kuwait, Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan, Mali, Kenya, Timor Leste, Cambodia, and Bangladesh and the Philippines.
September 23, 2010
GOPAC TO STRENGTHEN FIGHT VS
CORRUPTION THRU UNCAC
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Participants of the upcoming Organization of Parliamentarians against
Corruption (GOPAC) conference are expected to affirm their commitment to the global fight against corruption through a series
of meetings that will equip lawmakers with tools to implement the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), which
the Philippines ratified in 2006. The GOPAC conference will start on September 30 and end on October 1, 2010, at the Sofitel
According to Senator Edgardo Angara, founding President of the South East Asian Parliamentarians
Against Corruption (SEAPAC), a non-profit organization established by the region's only Asian representative to GOPAC, "the
two-day conference will help strengthen the region's fight against corruption."
"This event will be the perfect venue for the participants to assess whether the last GOPAC
conference, held in Kuwait, made an impact on the region's fight against corruption," Angara added. According to Angara, participation
of the Philippines, which ratified the UNCAC in 2006, in the SEAPAC meeting will allow the world to see that the country,
under a new administration, is committed in the fight against corruption. "The fight against corruption is not an easy task
and cannot be solved by one person alone. Corruption has a long reach, and the fight against it is a continuous struggle,"
Angara said. "We are committed to uphold the president's mandate to eradicate corruption in the country," Angara added.
Ratification of the UNCAC by all of GOPAC's member countries being one of the target achievements
of the conference, participants are expected to discuss their country's parliamentary involvement in the domestication and
implementation of the UNCAC.
"We will be discussing whether member parliaments are truly engaged in the planning and implementation
of programs combating corruption," Angara said.
"We have to know, is there a monitoring system for each member country's national and anti-corruption
strategy, and whether their parliaments involved in the monitoring efforts," Angara added.
According to Angara, government is obligated to report to parliament and the public on compliance
and corrective actions being done to implement UNCAC's mandate. "Members of UNCAC are required to take on measures which will
support the tracing, freezing, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds of corruption."
"Countries like the Philippines are bound by the Convention to render specific forms of mutual
legal assistance in gathering and transferring evidence for use in court, to extradite offenders," Angara explained.
"We are also mandated to constantly review actions taken in fighting corruption and at the
same time maintain transparency by reporting the results to the public," Angara added.
Founded in October 2002 as a result of a Global Conference in Ottawa, Canada, GOPAC brought
together over 170 parliamentarians and 400 observers dedicated to fighting corruption and improving good governance.
There are currently over 900 members of GOPAC, representing over 90 countries in all the regions
of the world. They are current or former democratically elected members of parliament or democratically elected members of
parliament who have been denied their right to take office.
The South East Asia Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC), born in Manila on March 31st,
2005 is one of the youngest chapters of the Ottawa-based Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC).
As the only Asian representative in GOPAC's Executive Board at the time, Angara took the lead in organizing the Southeast
Asian Chapter, and was elected its first President.