Political will and good governance critical in fighting corruption, says OSCE PA Special Representative, marking International Anti-Corruption Day

SR Charalambides 091220Special Representative on Fighting Corruption Irene Charalambides COPENHAGEN, 9 December 2020 – Effectively preventing and combatting corruption requires co-ordinated responses at both national and international levels guided by strong political will, said Irene Charalambides (Cyprus), the OSCE PA’s Special Representative on Fighting Corruption, at an event today marking International Anti-Corruption Day.

Addressing a webinar organized by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA), entitled “Open Data in Action: Beneficial Ownership and Public Procurement,” Charalambides underlined the role of parliamentarians in building political will and proactively safeguarding the independence of key anti-corruption national stakeholders from interference.

“Without political will, anti-corruption laws will remain empty shells and anti-corruption authorities will feel abandoned,” Charalambides said. “Political will is therefore the Alfa and the Omega of any effective anti-corruption strategy.”

Open data initiatives are critical, she emphasized, in making information available to the public and improving government accountability and enhancing public participation. “Open data makes existing information easier to analyze, process, and combine, allowing a new level of public scrutiny,” she said. “If used properly, open data also supports technological innovation and economic growth.”

Charalambides highlighted the role of interparliamentary fora such as the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in building policy convergence on anti-corruption issues for the steady implementation of good governance principles at the national level.

She also pointed to the adoption last week of the Ministerial Council Decision “Preventing and Combating Corruption through Digitalization and Increased Transparency,” which confirmed that fighting corruption must remain a top priority across the OSCE region and recognized the important role played by national parliaments in this critical field.

“International organizations such as the OSCE also represent a privileged platform for sharing best practices, developing coordinated responses and promoting strategic partnerships among key actors in this field, including parliaments, governments, civil society, the business community, media and youth,” Charalambides said.

The Special Representative commended the work of journalists who act as a watchdog by uncovering and publicly exposing malfeasance as well as by fighting impunity. “To ensure their effective role in fighting corruption, journalists must be free and independent, and the media environment needs to be pluralistic, safe and protected from undue influence,” she said.

Special Representative Charalambides chaired a Parliamentary Web Dialogue on 14 October, entitled “Parliamentarians & Journalists: Partners Against Corruption,” which explored topics such as money laundering, the risks of organized crime infiltrating economic activity, the importance of transparency, and the need for promoting a safe work environment for journalists to carry out their essential work in combating corruption.

For more on the work of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Special Representative on Fighting Corruption, please click here



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