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Annex H - Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption

We APEC member economies recognize that corruption impedes economic sustainability and development, threatens social security and fairness, undermines the rule of law, and erodes government accountability, as well as public trust. We reaffirm the Santiago Commitment to Fight Corruption and Ensure Transparency, the APEC Course of Action on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency, as well as the Vladivostok Declaration on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency, which reflect our continued commitments to combat corruption across all sectors, including public sector and private sector, in the Asia Pacific region. We commend the Anti-Corruption and Transparency (ACT) Working Group for guiding us in strengthening our resolve to effectively fight corruption across borders, and for its commitment over the years to working across APEC subfora, with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), and with key regional and international partners.

We highly applaud the continued contributions of all APEC member economies to protect integrity and promote transparency and participation of society in the Asia-Pacific region. Acknowledging that increased global connectivity demands vigorous international cooperation to successfully combat corruption, we urge member economies to further intensify our collective efforts in the fight against corruption by strengthening existing cooperation and developing new areas of international collaboration within the APEC ACT framework.

With this vision in mind, we hereby call for more concerted efforts for international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, subject to domestic laws and policies, through the following actions:

-- Reaffirming our commitment to denying safe haven to those engaged in corruption, including through extradition, mutual legal assistance, and the recovery and return of proceeds of corruption; considering the adoption of more flexible approaches enabled by domestic legislation for recovery of proceeds of corruption; and striving to expedite international cooperation in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and punishment of corruption offenses.

-- Strengthening information sharing among APEC economies, according to domestic laws, concerning cross-border movements of public officials involved in corruption criminal investigations and their illicitly acquired assets, as an effort to help combat corruption, bribery and illicit financial flows to the utmost extent; and calling for transparency of beneficial ownership of legal persons and legal arrangements as consistent with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) definition, aimed at more effective prevention and detection of corruption.

-- Looking anew at the potential of enhancing bilateral cooperation to fight corruption through the use of existing international legal instruments such as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime(UNTOC), and relevant initiatives like the APEC Course of Action on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency; encouraging member economies , where appropriate, to sign and conclude bilateral extradition treaties and mutual legal assistance agreements; and welcoming anti-corruption programs that follow successful models.

-- Establishing the APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies (ACT-NET) with an Office responsible for daily administrative tasks, and looking forward to the development of the ACT-NET as an informal network for sharing information and exchanging best practices and techniques among anti-corruption and law enforcement authorities in the Asia-Pacific region, to assist in detecting, investigating and prosecuting corruption, bribery, money laundering, and illicit trade.

-- Strengthening international cooperation efforts through the support of and participation in ACT-NET and other multilateral networks; exploring the potential of other existing mechanisms, where appropriate, such as UNCAC, UNTOC, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), FATF, and the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), to promote effective international, regional and bilateral cooperation between and among law enforcement, prosecutorial, regulatory and financial intelligence entities; and supporting the development and introduction of new anti-corruption tools and initiatives, such as jurisdiction-specific guidebooks, to provide technical assistance to anti-corruption and law enforcement authorities in member economies.

-- Collectively pursuing efforts to nurture fair and open markets, and encouraging member economies to initiate, enact, implement, and continually perfect, where appropriate, legislation prohibiting bribery; recognizing the importance of intensifying cross-border cooperation to prevent, investigate and prosecute bribery; encouraging member economies to broaden and strengthen dialogues between governments and business communities in the fight against bribery; and welcoming tools and guidelines developed by member economies in this regard[1].

-- Cooperating on anti-corruption cases through all feasible measures within the bounds of each economy’s laws and regulations, and facilitating administrative arrangements for officials cooperating with each other in APEC member economies.

-- Taking all necessary measures in accordance with fundamental legal principles of each economy to implement and promote transparency, including strengthening corruption prevention bodies and anti-corruption policies, as well as welcoming the participation of society; establishing measures and systems to protect whistleblowers; attaching great importance to capacity building of anti-corruption and law enforcement authorities; and advancing exchanges, personnel training and technical assistance for member economies.

Building upon our past commitments to fight corruption and ensure transparency, we shall lead by example to continue our fight against corruption in the Asia-Pacific region. With fresh vigor and renewed momentum, we will take concrete actions and pursue additional effective measures as necessary to safeguard our common security, market integrity, the rule of law, and sustainable growth. interests in social security, market integrity, the rule of law, and sustainable growth.

[1] Including the APEC Principles on the Prevention of Bribery and Enforcement of Anti-bribery Laws and the APEC General Elements of Effective Corporate Compliance Programs.