10 July 2009 | Jake Kanter
Leaders of the G8 countries have acknowledged that corruption poses "serious problems" to world economies.
Earlier this week at the G8 summit in Italy, world leaders, including British prime minister Gordon Brown and US president Barack Obama, raised concerns over the issue of fraud.
"Corruption poses serious problems to the stability and security of societies, undermines the institutions and values of democracy and jeopardises sustainable development and economic prosperity," they said in a joint declaration.
The leaders promised to implement tough rules to tackle the problem. These include putting into action the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) - a 2005 treaty including measures on preventing and convicting fraud - and the OECD Anti Bribery Convention, which aims to combat corruption in international business transactions.
But fraud watchdog Transparency International (TI) said yesterday while it welcomed the declaration, Italy, Germany and Japan, are in fact yet to sign up to the UNCAC, raising "serious doubts" over the G8's commitment to fight corruption. It added only Germany and the US actively enforce the OECD Convention.
TI's managing director Cobus de Swardt said without transparency and accountability, corruption would remain unresolved. "Until the most economically powerful countries truly enforce their commitments, their political will remains doubtful."