Empowering Women in Preventing and Eradicating Corruption
H.E, Pramono Anung, Chair of Southeast Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC) and GOPAC Indonesia, and GOPAC Timor Leste’s Fernanda Borges were on hand in Jakarta, Indonesia in March for the Southeast Asia regional conference Women Fight Corruption. H.E. Anung and Ms. Borges joined over 90 representatives from civil society organizations and from governments from Indonesia, India, Cambodia, Timor Leste, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and the Philippines to increase awareness and strengthen stakeholder’s commitment on the issues of women’s movements fighting corruption.
The conference was organized in recognition of the fact that corruption has a gender dimension, whereby women – specifically impoverished women and children – bear a greater burden of the impact of corruption.
GOPAC’s presence at the conference highlighted the important role that parliamentarians play in empowering women and fighting corruption. During Ms. Borges’ presentation, she shared that “by engaging women, we are engaging families and communities to participate in good governance practices making the anti-corruption voice from the outside louder and the impact greater.”
Call for Participants: Annual Conference of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank & International Monetary Fund
The Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund is hosting its annual conference in Baku, Azerbaijan 23-24 May 2013. The conference brings together over 200 network members, leaders from civil society and partner organizations, and top officials from a number of International Financial Institutions including the World Bank, IMF and regional development banks. This year’s Conference agenda focuses on macroeconomic stability; development of the non-oil sectors; and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
We encourage all GOPAC members to participate in this important and informative event. If you have not yet registered for the conference, please send your registration form and a copy of your passport to Ms. Gergana Ivanova at email@example.com.
Anti-corruption and governance issues have been prominent at meetings of Asian-Pacific members of Parliament (MPs) working to advance population and development policies.
“There’s a clear understanding that corruption limits the effectiveness of aid donors and governments working to alleviate poverty,” said GOPAC Australia Chair John Hyde, who chaired a workshop on governance at the Bali conference on post-2015 strategies to progress the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Mr. Hyde said there was a growing interest from MPs involved in the population and development aims of the MDGs in the work of GOPAC.
Mr. Hyde also attended the International Conference on Population and Development’s (ICPD) Parliamentarians Champions’ Meeting in Bangkok which is working on strategies to ensure the UN considers parliamentarians’ views in the review of the post-2014 ICPD.
“Members of Parliament who work strongly to get their governments to spend wisely on health promotion and education know that a dollar diverted into corruption is a dollar not being spent to keep someone in good health,” said Mr. Hyde.
Donya Aziz Honoured as a Top Performer in the Pakistan National Assembly
GOPAC congratulates Dr. Donya Aziz, Chair of GOPAC’s Women in Parliament Network (WPN) and member from Pakistan, who has been named one of the top ten performers in the Pakistan Parliament by the Free and Fair Elections Network. She was second on the list of members of Parliament who have authored the most number of Private Members’ Bills either in collaboration with her colleagues or in her individual capacity.
Dr. Aziz has been an active member of GOPAC for many years. In addition to recently being named Chair of WPN, Dr. Aziz also sits on our Parliamentary Oversight Global Task Force.
She has represented GOPAC at numerous international events, including at the fifteenth International Anti-Corruption Conference in Brazil and at our Fifth Global Conference of Parliamentarians Against Corruption in the Philippines.
We are honoured to have Dr. Aziz as an anti-corruption champion and look forward to a continued cooperation in the fight against corruption in Pakistan and around the world.
Building Capacity to Fight Corruption in Southern Africa
Members of Parliament (MPs) from nine countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region gathered in Gaborone, Botswana 11-12 April 2013 to discuss the development of a sub-regional chapter of the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC). The meeting, hosted by the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust (SAPST) and supported by the GOPAC’s Global Secretariat, provided a platform to share the work of GOPAC with particular emphasis on the experiences of national APNAC chapters as well as sub-regional chapters of GOPAC in other regions. Participants also had an opportunity to share information about the state of corruption in their countries.
Following discussions, participants recognised the need for a steering committee to oversee the formation of the sub-regional chapter.
The steering committee is being co-chaired by Hon. Willias Madzimure, Chair of APNAC Zimbabwe, and Hon. Cornelius Mweetwa, Chair of APNAC Zambia. Both MPs have been instrumental in the building of robust APNAC chapters in their countries
The MPs also resolved to return to their countries and put in motion the steps needed to form national chapters. In addition, they agreed that SADC countries that were unable to attend the meeting would be contacted and encouraged to start national chapters as well.
SAPST pledged its support for the initiative and agreed to function as the Secretariat for the new sub-regional chapter. They are now preparing a draft constitution which should be ready for adoption shortly.
Should Governance be a Self-standing Development Goal?
A recent survey of Inter Parliamentary Union members indicates that 80 per cent of respondents believe that governance should be a self-standing development goal in the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) currently being developed by the United Nations. Ninety-four per cent of respondents believed that governance measures were needed to inform all other development goals. The three top priorities listed in that survey were citizen participation (86 per cent), transparency (81 per cent) and combatting corruption (79 per cent).
The United Nations Development Program is now seeking feedback on priorities for the new SDGs through an online survey at http://www.myworld2015.org/?partner= mp. Using this link will enable UNDP to differentiate between the views of parliamentarians and other members of the community. We encourage GOPAC members to complete the survey and have their say on the importance of governance as part of the new SDGs.
GOPAC Granted Observer Status at IPU
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has granted GOPAC observer status, strengthening our relationship and our capacity to fight corruption. This move builds on recent collaborations with the IPU, including GOPAC’s participation in the 127th IPU Assembly held in Quebec City in October 2012 where GOPAC’s CEO spoke on the issue of parliamentary immunity.
Our application for membership was approved at the 128th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union held in Quito, Ecuador. Global Task Force Advisor, Vicki Baxter Amade, represented GOPAC at the meeting and will act as the link between our two organizations. After returning from Quito, Vicki commented on how useful it had been to observe the IPU at work and to establish key contacts in a number of areas, particularly those relating to governance, rights of parliamentarians and gender programmes.
“Many of our members are already heavily involved in the work of the IPU, but they do so as part of their national delegations. It is good to now see GOPAC recognized as an observer member in its own right,” said Ms. Baxter Amade.
While in Quito, Ms. Baxter Amade received a number of enquiries about GOPAC workshops and programmes, especially following the session focussed on the role of governance in achieving sustainable development goals. The Global Secretariat will be following up with those parliaments who expressed interest in our work and looks forward to supporting their fight against corruption.
GOPAC and StAR Deliver Anti-Corruption Training in South Sudan
As part of our ongoing support for the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) of South Sudan, GOPAC was pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with the World Bank’s Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) in delivering a capacity building workshop for 50-60 NLA members. The workshop covered key anti-corruption topics, such as the importance of effective parliamentary oversight; the responsibilities involved in ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC); and the need to establish an independent anti-corruption commission. Hon. Willias Madzimure, Chair of APNAC Zimbabwe and member of the Global Task Force on Parliamentary Oversight, represented GOPAC at this event and spoke highly of the level of commitment to adopt effective anti-corruption tools that he encountered in South Sudan.
“The Anti-Corruption Bill currently being considered by Parliament is one of the strongest I have seen in Africa,” commented Hon. Madzimure. “In addition to delivering training for South Sudanese parliamentarians there were lessons which I will be able to take back to my own country.”
StAR’s Senior Public Sector Specialist, Jacinta Odour, also spoke positively about the workshop, noting that NLA members were keen on learning about their oversight role and how systems work in other countries. GOPAC is pleased to have been able to participate in this workshop and to collaborate with StAR, particularly as we start to step up work on asset recovery through our Anti-Money Laundering Global Task Force.