International Alliance

Manila Bulletin, February 4, 2013 | Go to article overview
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International Alliance


This Saturday, we concluded the fifth biennial conference of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) with great success. About 500 delegates from more than 68 countries joined us, making the Manila conference the most well-attended in GOPAC's 10-year history.

GOPAC is also grateful for the unqualified support extended by the national leadership. President Benigno Aquino III himself was our keynote speaker, while Vice President Jejomar Binay also joined the opening program. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. both addressed the body and generously hosted separate luncheons for the delegates.

Several Cabinet members also showed their support, led by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who was one of our resource speakers, Secretary Ramon Jimenez of the Department of Tourism, which showed international delegates why it is truly more fun in the Philippines.

Dozens more in the Convention Secretariat worked hard for over a year on a volunteer basis to put together the conference, and many public agencies and private institutions gave us their unstinting assistance.

In short, GOPAC's attendance has been overwhelming, which suggests that the global battle against corruption is at its strongest ever. Parliamentarians - and governments - all over the world are gradually realizing that good leaders who make good laws nurture good citizens. Together, we have shown that good governance is neither an empty call nor a hollow promise. Rather, good governance is truly humanity's shared aspiration.

The anti-corruption movement enjoys broad support from all sectors of society. But while we have tremendous progress over the last few years, much more still needs to be done.

The United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the first internationally legally binding anti-corruption instrument, has general guidelines and common mechanisms for all. Certain roadblocks remain however.

A forceful and effective campaign can begin with the simplest: An audit of outdated laws, rules and regulations, and their repeal.

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