The 21st ACTWG Meeting was held in Cebu, Philippines on 22 August and the 20th ACTWG meeting was held in Clark Philippines on 26-7 January 2015.
2nd APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies (ACT-NET) Meeting
Thesecond ACT-NET meeting was held in Cebu on 23 August 2015. Members supported the goal of the ACT-NET on establishing and developing an inter-economy network connecting anti-corruption and law enforcement officers to enhance informal cross-border cooperation between agencies responsible for investigations and prosecutions of corruption, bribery, money laundering, and illicit trade and the identification and return of the proceeds of those crimes. Focal points met for the second time and had the opportunity to continuing their joint efforts by discussing on fugitive repatriation and informal international cooperation, including multilateral task forces, combating international corruption cases and cross-border law enforcement operations. Building regional capacity for asset recovery and anti-money laundering was an additional focus, detailing cases and special operations, as well as information seeking and step-by-step guides on cross-border cooperation in bribery and ongoing prosecution cases.
Implementing the UN Convention against Corruption
In the APEC Economic Leaders Declaration, Vladivostok, Russia 2012, Leaders encouraged members to fully implement the UN Convention against Corruption. Brunei Darussalam, Chie, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea, Chinese Taipei, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam shared their reports on developments and progress implementing the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and other domestic initiatives and legal advances related to anti-corruption and transparency.
Collaboration with Other Multilateral Organizations
Representatives from UN Offices on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), OECD and INTERPOL shared their reports on recent activities related to transparency and anticorruption and possible opportunities for collaboration with ACTWG.
Handbook on Prosecuting Corruption and Money Laundering Cases
Chile and Thailand presented the Handbook "Designing Best Models on Prosecuting Corruption and Money Laundering Cases Using Financial Flow Tracking Techniques and Investigative Intelligence for Effective Conviction and Asset Recovery to Promote Regional Economic Integration.” This handbook highlights the best tools to deal with investigation and prosecution of complex criminal cases of corruption and money laundering. The 3rd workshop was held on 24 August 2015, in Cebu, Philippines.
Workshops and Projects in 2015
Workshop on the Role of Stakeholders in Fighting Corruption’, organized by the Office of the Ombudsman, Philippines, was attended by more than sixty participants, which was inaugurated by the Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur H. Carandang, 2015 ACT-NET Chair The Sessions included Capacity Assessment of the Anti-Corruption Infrastructure in the Philippines; Role of Financial Intelligence Units in Tracking Corruption; Role of Government Auditing in Fighting Corruption; Role of Media in Fighting Corruption.
APEC Pathfinder Dialogue II: Partnerships for Sustainable Security Strengthening the Fight Against Corruption and Illicit Trade:
Anti-corruption authorities, customs bureaus and law enforcement agencies’ representatives had the opportunity to joined their collaborative efforts to combat illegal wildlife trafficking in the Asia-Pacific by going through an overview of strategic drivers, and practical examples of poly-crime threat convergence and key elements of multi-agency and international cooperation to combat corruption and criminal convergence, as well as by exchanging information on strengthening customs and border security practices. This event also included breakout sessions that explored the essential role of the private sector in keeping supply chains free of products obtained by corruption, fraud and other illicit means, and also on developing best practices for combating corruption in the environment, to include, wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, and illegal fishing.
APEC ACT-OECD Roundtable on Combatting Corruption Related to Trafficking in Persons:
Members had the chance to identify best practices at the domestic and regional level in combating corruption related to trafficking in persons, as well as to explore draft principles that address these issues jointly. The aim of the OECD Principles on Combating Corruption Related to Trafficking in Persons was discussed and provided a useful reference for economies intending to establish, modify, or complement a framework to address trafficking-related corruption. The roundtable was targeted focus on corruption that facilitates human trafficking, which means that aimed to highlight the importance of combating corrupt law enforcement agents who facilitate the recruitment, transportation and exploitation of trafficking victims, and corrupt criminal justice authorities that help traffickers by obstructing investigations and prosecutions of cases as well as hinder the protection of victims of trafficking. The APEC – OECD Roundtable showed the beginning of a process to slow down the levels of human trafficking in the Asia Pacific region through honest dialogue about corruption associated with human trafficking; the challenges on enforcing anti-trafficking law; highlighting the gaps necessary to develop more holistic anti-trafficking frameworks; and a recognition that we must better enhance the capacity of investigators, labor inspectors, prosecutors, and judges, and improve cross-border information-sharing arrangements that enable more joint investigations.
Upcoming Workshops and Events
The next ACT meeting will be held at SOM1, 2016 in Lima, Peru (TBA)
ACTWG economies are expected to submit the individual Final Reports on implementation of APEC Anti-Corruption Commitments (December 2015).
In 2007, the ACT developed a Code of Conduct for Business; Conduct Principles for Public Officials; andComplementary Anti-Corruption Principles for the Public and Private Sectors. APEC Leaders endorsed these codes, as well as the 2007 Statement on Actions for Fighting Corruption through Improved International Legal Cooperation. These codes are being implemented through the provision of capacity building seminars to government and law enforcement officials, civil society representatives, chambers of commerce and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
In 2009, the ACT focused on governance and anti-corruption. ACT members agreed on the following two documents, which were endorsed by APEC Ministers in November 2009:
Singapore Declaration on Combating Corruption, Strengthening Governance and Enhancing Institutional Integrity; and
APEC Guidelines on Enhancing Governance and Anti-Corruption.
The Singapore Declaration reaffirms the commitment of APEC economies towards creating a framework of transparency and accountability to strengthen governance and institutional integrity.
The APEC Guidelines makes recommendations on the following areas broadly:
Establishing legal, enforcement and regulatory frameworks;
Cultivating a culture of governance and anti-corruption across all sectors;
Implementing measures, processes and standards that promote transparency and accountability;
Enhancing public-private sector cooperation and dialogue.
In November 2010, APEC Leaders met in Yokohama, Japan and adopted “The Yokohama Vision – Bogor and Beyond,” which provides a roadmap for member economies to realize the collective vision of an economically-integrated, robust and secure APEC community in the 21st Century. In the Declaration, APEC Leaders recommitted to continue efforts to fight corruption and promote transparency, including leveraging collective action to combat illicit trade and dismantle transnational illicit networks across the Asia-Pacific region. APEC Leaders also called for improved and regular reporting by APEC on its efforts to meet our commitments in this area to build a secure community in the region.
Dr Pablo SANCHEZ VELARDE (Mr)
National Prosecutor and President of the High Level Anti-Corruption Commission of Peru
Diego GARCIA GONZALEZ (Mr)