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OECD anti-corruption work honoured by international awards

 

19/12/2007 - Key participants involved in OECD's work in the global fight against corruption have been honoured by two prestigious bodies, Transparency International in its 2007 Integrity Awards and African investor magazine in its annual African Investor Awards.

Transparency International, the leading international NGO campaigning against corruption, chose Mark Pieth, the chair of OECD's Working Group on Bribery, as one of two recipients of its annual Integrity Awards. Mark, who has led OECD's anti-corruption work since its early stages, teaches criminal law and criminology at the University of Basel in his native Switzerland.

Separately, OECD's Anti-Corruption Division was "Highly Commended" in the 2007 African Investor Awards for its work with South Africa in the global fight against bribery. South Africa became the first African country to sign the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention earlier this year, joining the OECD Working Group on Bribery as its 37th member.

Congratulating both Prof. Pieth and members of the Anti-Corruption Division, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said these awards were a clear signal of support for the international fight against corruption.  "Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the OECD Convention," he said, "these awards are important recognition of the value of our work in this area."

Until the OECD Convention was adopted 10 years ago, Mr. Gurría noted, bribery of foreign public officials was widely accepted as a normal way of doing business in many countries in the world. In recent  years, by contrast, there has been growing recognition that corruption undermines democratic institutions and damages the investment climate in developing countries. 

In its citation honouring Prof. Pieth, Transparency International said that he "has provided outstanding leadership in fighting corruption on an international scale … not only as a co-founder of the Basel Institute on Governance but as chair of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions and as a member of the Independent Inquiry Committee into the Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme of the United Nations."

The OECD Anti-Corruption Division serves the OECD Working Group on Bribery, providing analytical and logistical support for its work. In a speech accepting the Africa Investor Award, Anti-Corruption Division Head Patrick Moulette said that this award gave "an important signal that the African business community is willing to take measures to tackle foreign bribery-a crucial step for ensuring an attractive and stable African investment climate."

For further information about OECD's work on bribery, please visit the OECD website www.oecd.org/corruption or contact Patrick Moulette, Head, OECD Anti-Corruption Division (tel: +33 1 4524 9103.)  Prof. Pieth can be contacted by e-mail on mark.pieth@unibas.ch.