“A future without corruption — One vision, multiple strategies”

By Liviana Zorzi, Event Coordinator on Transparency, Accountability and Anti-Corruption (UNV), United Nations Development Programme, Bangkok Regional Hub

From 11 to 13 May 2015, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) hosted the 6th ICAC Symposium.

It was an occasion for around 500 delegates worldwide from anti-corruption and other law enforcement agencies, justice departments, regulatory bodies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, the academia and the private sector to gather and discuss on strategies to shape a corruption-free world. Inspiring keynote speeches and plenary sessions addressed the issue of combating corruption in various countries and from different perspectives.

Presentations and discussions ranged from integrity risks in the public and private sector, to international networks and agencies to tackle the problem. Last but not least, the experts reflected on the importance to engage the public in the fight against corruption and in the promotion of a clean environment: new technologies and social media can play a crucial role on that.

The main take-aways of the symposium can be summarized as follows:

-The shared vision of a world free from corruption is an ideal, nevertheless it is worthy to continue fighting for that

– There are several ways to overcome obstacles towards a just and fair world: the rule of law and fair and effective legislation are key to success

– Grand corruption has to be a priority issue, as it can destroy entire nations and populations

– Also at the local level, corruption’s effects can be devastating and it is important to promote a zero tolerance culture

– International cooperation is essential, as advocated by China reps and as showed by cases successfully solved thanks to cooperation among different countries and international organizations (EU, World Bank, OLAF…)

– The tone from the top, the political will is fundamental

– Involving the public in the fight against corruption is a necessary step in the establishment of a clean and corruption-free world. Social media can be a powerful way to engage the citizens

– Punishment and clear terms of imprisonment can work as effective deterrents

Presentations held during the dialogue will be made available on the ICAC Symposium website: http://www.icac.org.hk/symposium/2015/en/p01.html

The attendees had the opportunity to visit an exhibition to showcase the initiatives carried on by the ICAC, within the framework of their three-pronged approach (investigation / enforcement, prevention and education), and to visit ICAC premises.

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