Statement by the Representative of the Republic of Turkey Fourth Assembly of Parties of the International Anti-Corruption Academy

Birnur Fertekligil 09.12.2015
9 December 2015, Vienna


Statement by the Representative of the Republic of Turkey
at the
Fourth Assembly of Parties of the
International Anti-Corruption Academy
Vienna

Mr. President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, Mr. President, on behalf of the Turkish Delegation, I would like to extend our deepest congratulations on your election as the Chair of the Fourth Assembly of Parties of the International Anti-Corruption Academy. You can count on the close cooperation of my delegation during this Assembly.

We appreciate all efforts and support of the IACA Secretariat for the work which has helped us in preparing for the discussions.

Mr. President,

Corruption is a crime. It is a plague that damages socio-economic values, undermines the sense of justice and harms equality while generating unjust gains and unfair advantages for its perpetrators and frustrating those who abide by the rules. It poses a serious threat to justice, human rights, democratic institutions, rule of law as well as global growth, trade and the economic development. As emphasized by the UN Secretary General H.E. Ban Ki-Moon in the Crime Congress that was held in April 2015 in Doha, “crime feeds on corruption and obstructs good governance”.

It is estimated that corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost some 1.2 trillion US dollars for developing countries per year. Even this single figure clearly demonstrates the financial magnitude of the problem we are facing. This amount of money could be used to lift those who are living on less than $1.25 a day above that threshold for at least six years.

As a matter of fact, this problem, while varies in its form, substance, frequency or intensity, exists worldwide. This is a phenomenon that transcends national boundaries. Without solid international cooperation and united response from the States, international organizations, such as IACA, interest groups including the private sector and the other relevant actors, the chances for complete success to defeat this evil is unlikely.

In this respect, IACA’s contribution to the international efforts is important. The Academy, although it is relatively new, has already achieved a significant number of members with 65 Parties to the Agreement. This figure demonstrates a wide commitment to the goals of the Academy.

We note with satisfaction that the Academy moves forward to perform its task through a number of activities and programs. The Master Studies, training programs and workshops offered by the Academy, are noteworthy. Beside its educational programs, the Academy also functions as a forum to bring experts together with a view to carrying out researches and or discuss ideas in this field.
We welcome the resolution adopted during the Sixth Conference of Parties regarding the “education and training in the context of anti-corruption”. The notions enshrined in this resolution are in line with the goals and objectives of the IACA and this text will empower the Secretariat in this regard.

During this Assembly meeting, we also have important documents before us for consideration. The “Work Programme” puts forward the strategic objectives, organizational development, the goals and the way ahead. Besides, adoption of a balanced 2016 budget so as to secure the high standards pursued by the Academy is another topic. We will actively engage in the discussions regarding the draft resolutions and other relevant documents that will be raised.

Mr. President,

Fighting corruption has been one of Turkey’s priorities as the term President of the G20 in 2015. During our Presidency, we have closely monitored the effective implementation of the 2015-2016 Anti-Corruption Action Plan. Turkish Presidency has also closely worked with the relevant international organizations and has given particular importance to the fight against corruption in the private sector. As part of our efforts in this area, we have emphasized the transparency in government-business relations. Strengthening the accountability for public officials and enhancing the transparency have been among other key areas that have been focused during the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group Meetings.

Mr. President, Distinguished Participants,

In recent decade, Turkey has taken numerous legislative, administrative and institutional steps to reinforce its measures against corruption.

In this regard, the Law on the Establishment of an Ethics Commission for Public Officials, the Law on Public Procurement, the Law against the Laundering of Proceeds of Crime, the Law on Public Financial Management and Control, Ombudsman Law, Law on the High Court of Accounts, Misdemeanors Law, the Law on Prevention of the Financing of Terrorism and the Law on Public Finances and Debt Management have been modified or enacted, to name a few. The Turkish Criminal Law was also reformed and the preventive and suppressive measures regarding the money laundering offence were regulated in detail.

We believe that transparency, accountability and effectiveness are the key elements in the fight against corruption. In this respect, Turkish national strategy against corruption, which involves these critical components, was adopted, and being implemented since 2010. The national strategy is carried out with the active involvement of the civil society, business sector and academia.

Along with the International Anti-Corruption Academy, Turkey is also a party to a number of international conventions and initiatives in this field. The United Nations Convention against Corruption, the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), the Council of Europe Conventions on Criminal Law on Corruption and Civil Law on Corruption, OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions are some examples of these international instruments to which Turkey is state party.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. The 2030 Development Agenda that was recently adopted should motivate all the States to take further and more ambitious steps to reach the specified ends. In this vein, we welcome the fact that the Goal-16 has specific targets to “substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms” and “to develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels”. This goal also demonstrates the valuable role that international organizations such as IACA can play in this field.

I would like to assure you once again on Turkey’s commitment to make a genuine effort to bring this Assembly of Parties to a successful conclusion.

Thank you.



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