The 19th ACTWG Meeting was held in Beijing, China on 13 August and the 18th ACTWG meeting was held in Ningbo, China on 20 February 2014.
Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption
Members adopted the Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption. The final version will be submitted to the Concluding Senior Officials Meeting (CSOM) in November for endorsement with the view to incorporate it as part of the 2014 Leaders’ declaration.
1st APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies (ACT-NET) Meeting
The first ACT-NET meeting was held in Beijing on 15 August 2014. Members supported the establishment of the APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies (ACT-NET) in 2014 and endorsed the ACT-NET Terms of Reference. The goal of the ACT-NET is to establish and develop 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. The purpose of this first meeting was to allow focal points to meet for the first time, as well as to share information on methods of criminal investigations and operations; policies; mutual legal assistance examples; best experiences on past prosecution cases, assets recovery cases; and to explore areas of possible future cooperation. ACT-NET focal points are mainly from law enforcement agencies of APEC economies. The next ACT-NET meeting will be held in the margins of Senior Officials’ Meetings in 2015 in the Philippines (TBA). See news release.
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 Transparency International (China), World Bank-StAR, UN Offices on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), OECD and International Anti-Corruption Academy 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 first part of 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 second workshop was held on 22-24 September 2014 in Pattaya, Thailand.
Workshops and Projects in 2014
APEC Round Table Discussion on Anti-Corruption and Public Sector Governance was held on 13 January 2014 in Chinese Taipei.
The Workshop on International Recovery of the Proceeds of Corruption was held on 2 February 2014 in Ningbo, China. The workshop was jointly organized by China and World Bank-StAR. More than one hundred participants from 21 APEC economies attended this workshop which was inaugurated by Mr. Huang Shuxian, Minister of Supervision of China (photo below). The sessions included: international standards on asset recovery (StAR); barriers to asset recovery and responses; and individual economy experiences on asset recovery.
APEC-funded project led by Australia: APEC Guide to Mutual Legal Assistance.
Corrupt officials and transnational criminals routinely seek safe haven in other economies. The World Bank’s (StAR) estimated that developing economies lose between US$20 billion and US$40 billion each year to bribery, embezzlement, and other corrupt practices. The work of APEC’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Group has shown that stronger systems for mutual legal assistance and associated asset recovery will help APEC economies to detect and disrupt transnational crime and corruption. This project builds on previous ACTWG capacity building workshops and will create a user-friendly guide to obtaining mutual legal assistance from APEC members. APEC members can use mutual assistance to help each other obtain evidence to investigate and prosecute corruption and transnational crime, and recover illicit assets derived from such crimes. Mutual assistance ensures corrupt officials cannot avoid prosecution, or hide illicit assets from corruption, simply because evidence or illicit assets are in another APEC economy.
The ACT-OECD High Level APEC Anti-Corruption Workshop on Combating Business Bribery.
The Minister of Supervision of China launched in Beijing on 14th August 2014 the ACT-OECD High-Level APEC Anti-Corruption Workshop on Combating Business Bribery. Representatives from eight international agencies, private sector, universities, and APEC officials shared experiences and best practices in different themes such as: Latest Progress and International Standards in Combating Foreign Bribery; Enforcement of Foreign Bribery among APEC Economies and International Cooperation; Prevention of Business Bribery and Success in Enterprises; and Enforcement of Foreign Bribery and Other Corruption Offences against Corporations.
Upcoming Workshops and Events
The next ACT meeting will be held at SOM1, 2015 in Clark, the Philippines (TBA)
In 2007, the ACT developed a Code of Conduct for Business; Conduct Principles for Public Officials; and Complementary 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.
Honorable Ms Conchita CARPIO-MORALES (Ms)
Office of the Ombudsman
Tel: +63 2 927-3431
Diego GARCIA GONZALEZ (Mr)