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BATUMI, Georgia, 16 December 2014 – Senior and mid-level anti-corruption officials from across the South Caucasus and Eastern Europe as well as international experts gathered in Batumi today for the start of a two-day regional seminar on effective measures in preventing corruption.
The seminar is organized by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, in close co-operation with the Government of Georgia, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ACN).
“Corruption is a complex phenomenon which requires a comprehensive approach, including strong prevention as well as criminalization and enforcement measures,” said Alexey Stukalo, Deputy Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities. “Most recently, on 5 December, the OSCE Ministerial Council in Basel, recognized the importance of stepping up anti-corruption efforts and adopted the Decision on the Prevention of Corruption”.
Asset declaration systems are a key element of corruption prevention. “While many countries already have asset disclosure mechanisms and conflict of interest regulations in place, they often lack the capacity to effectively implant them in practice and monitor the implementation,” said Stukalo. “The next two days will be about building the capacities of relevant institutions and anti-corruption bodies, with a strong practical component.”
Minister of Finance of Georgia Nodar Khaduri said: “Introduction of effective prevention measures in order to successfully fight corruption and other serious economic and financial crimes is one of the most significant priorities of Georgia. Constructive discussions held today will help the region improve its Anti-Corruption Strategies and shape up the action plans for the years ahead.”
Over 50 participants from anti-corruption agencies, prosecutorial authorities, financial intelligence units, tax/revenue bodies, Ministries of Justice and others will acquire deeper knowledge on corruption prevention international standards, in particular those related to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).