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Participants at OSCE Dublin meeting discuss Promoting Good Governance and Combating Corruption

DUBLIN, 23 April 2012 – Participants at an OSCE meeting in Dublin today called on governments in the 56 OSCE countries to strengthen their efforts to combat corruption and ensure greater transparency in their states.

“Poor governance has the potential to destabilise a state both economically and politically,” said Minister of State John Perry from Ireland’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, opening the conference on behalf of Ireland’s 2012 OSCE Chairmanship. “Corruption imposes costs on an economy,” added the Minister. “These are costs which neither states nor citizens should have to pay.  Nor indeed, in the current economic climate, can they afford to pay them.”       

Some 240 representatives of governments, business, international organizations and civil society are attending the two-day event, the second preparatory meeting for the 20th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum.

Goran Svilanović, the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, said that “anti-corruption initiatives have proven to have a positive impact on a country's prosperity.” He urged participants to “identify areas for further improvement and co-operation to reach our common goal of improved governance and transparency, and eradication of corruption for   the benefit of sustainable socio-economic development, stability and security.” 

Michael Camuñez, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce, said: “Good governance is not just essential for the exercise of personal freedom or the stability of the state. It is an essential requirement for economic growth, innovation and prosperity.” Speaking about the importance of transparency and good governance in advancing the OSCE’s work in the economic and environmental sphere, he added: “After much debate, it is time for the OSCE to endorse the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.”

Reinhard Priebe, the Director of Internal Security at the Directorate-General Home Affairs of the European Commission, stressed that “there are no corruption-free zones”. He said the measures of the European Union’s new anti-corruption package “will turn into useful tools in fighting more vigorously corruption within the EU” while they will also “further improve the anti-corruption policies in relation to other countries, in particular with those countries aspiring to join the EU and those in our close neighbourhood.” He added that “regulation alone does not bring about the best results. What we need to focus on is implementation.”

Ireland’s Justice Minister, Alan Shatter will speak at the closing session tomorrow afternoon.

The Forum, which will be held in Prague in September, is the OSCE’s largest annual meeting on economic and environmental issues. The first preparatory meeting, focusing on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, took place in Vienna in February.