Martin Kreutner addressing the conference 1The 5th conference of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians against Corruption (GOPAC) concluded on 2 February with the signing of the Manila Declaration in the Philippine capital.

 

The 500 delegates representing 78 countries, including 12 heads of parliament, recognized the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) as the foremost legally binding international instrument in the fight against corruption. They vowed to enhance the capacity of parliamentarians to adapt international standards to national needs, strengthening anti-corruption strategies and monitoring their respective countries’ compliance with the UNCAC.

“Reforms cannot be mere blips on the radar – they must usher in an enduring mainstream of good, honest governance. […] To put the people front and center in any agenda, and to go back to the basics of public service; in short, to do the right thing”, were the words of Benigno S. Aquino III, the President of the Philippines, during the opening ceremony.

The four-day meeting also saw the establishment of a formal relationship between GOPAC and IACA, with the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding which foresees cooperation in technical assistance, education, and research. “IACA is a marvellous institution, setting the standards for years to come, and I look forward to our close links of cooperation based on this Memorandum of Understanding”, stated Naser al Sane, the outgoing Chair of GOPAC.

GOPAC, an international network of parliamentarians dedicated to good governance and combatting corruption, represents an important partner for IACA. “Parliamentarians are mandated with the most valuable thing: the trust of their peoples to act for the common good”, Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA, expressed. “Any misuse of this power, hence, is a most severe breach of this vital bond, is a bout against the social contract. I thus support and highly commend the respected work of GOPAC and its members and am delighted by the prospect for furthering our cooperation, by joining forces against the evil of corruption”, he added.

Naser al Sane and Martin Kreutner signing the Memorandum of Understanding