Global Policy Forum

Global Forum to Mull

Agence France Presse
May 24, 2001

On Monday ministers and expert from all over the world will convene in The Hague next week for a global forum on corruption with possible new legal remedies a main focus. The four-day Global Forum on Fighting Corruption and Safeguarding Integrity II will be hosted by the Dutch minister of justice Benk Korthals, . The Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs, which helped organize the event, said around 101 ministers from 82 countries would attend and applications were still coming in. In all they are expecting up to 2,000 delegates.

The forum is the follow up for the first global forum held in Washington February 1999 on the initiative of then US vice-president Al Gore. The first forum focused on law enforcement issues regarding corruption. The Dutch organizers say the second forum will look at corruption in a much broader context.

The Global Forum II follows a multidisciplinary approach since all sectors of society can be affected by corruptive practices, the organizers say. During the week there will be workshops focused on law enforcement, customs, corruption in the private sector, corruption and aid to developing countries and the concept of corruption. On Thursday, the last day of the conference, it is expected the ministers will adopt a final declaration.

The forum is working together closely with the UN's 10th International Anti-Corruption Conference, to be held in Prague this October. The organizers hope the final declaration will include elements that can be used as a basis for a future UN legal instrument against corruption and a new UN anti-corruption treaty. "Particularly relevant are the latest developments in the United Nations, as in 2000 the General Assembly decided to start the process of elaborating a new legally binding instrument against corruption," said Korthals. "I hope that our conference can contribute to that process by offering a place for a first exchange of views on the general set-up of such an instrument."

Officials from the ministry of Foreign Affairs said they will consider the conference a success if there is a consensus among the delegates over a final declaration that leads to a general political commitment to fight corruption at home from all participating countries. The next global forum against corruption is planned in South Korea in 2003.

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