Dmitry Feoktistov, the Russian Co-Chair of the Anti-Corruption Working Group Meeting (ACWG) and Deputy Director of the Department on New Challenges and Threats of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, summing up the outcomes of the meeting said that the main discussion was focused on the implementation of the G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan 2013-2014 - a fundamental document that specifies the main directions of the ACWG agenda.
"We consider the Action Plan as a ‘living document', - Mr. Feoktistov admitted. - This is why Russia put forward several initiatives focused on specific areas, which need some additional attention of the G20. These initiatives include: conducting a study of the impact of anti-corruption measures on economic growth; preparing High Level Principles on Mutual Legal Assistance in Corruption Cases; identifying best practices in tackling corruption in privatization of the state-owned property; analyzing corruption risks and possible mitigation measures in organizing sports and other major international events; and, finally, keeping international best anti-corruption practices in focus, in particular those proposed by the UNODC, on anti-corruption education and training, including with respect to public officials."
In addition, Russia suggested to think over developing a comprehensive, long-term G20 anti-corruption strategy which could become a first document of that kind by multilateral organization.
The Co-Chair also emphasized that within the framework of the ACWG meeting an extensive outreach session was held. The representatives of Business 20 and Civil 20 - Mr. Andrey Bougrov, Chair of the B20 Taskforce on Improving Transparency and Anticorruption, and Ms. Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International and a C20 member, made an important input in the ACWG meeting. They shared their vision on the ways to deepen engagement of business community and civil society in the G20's fight against corruption.
Dmitry Feoktistov noted that the consensus with B20 and C20 will allow contributing to the ACWG work on integrity pacts, capacity building for SMEs and voluntary self-reporting on bribery, including solicitation of bribes.
"We will continue our dialogue with B20 and C20 during the High-Level Conference on Anti-Corruption which will be organized by the Russian G20 Presidency and the OECD in Paris on April 25-26" - he added.
Barbara Martin, the Canadian Co-Chair of the ACWG and Director General for the Regional Prosperity and Global Security in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada, also emphasized the importance of the two years G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan, as well as developing other measures to fight against corruption in both public and private sectors.
"The Group was particularly pleased that Saudi Arabia announced its ratification of the UN Convention against Corruption," - she said. - "This is a foundational treaty for international anti-corruption efforts along with the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention."
"The work of the G20 Group is focused on encouraging the development of policies and measures to complement and support the intent of these Conventions. For example, at the meeting we have agreed to create a network to share information to ensure that those convinced of corruption can be denied entry to our countries," - Ms. Martin specified. - "We have also agreed to compile guides to national asset recovery process to help countries recover the proceeds of corruption."
"We will meet again in June in Ottawa to take our work forward in close collaboration with the Russian Co-Chair," - she concluded.
The main outcomes of the meeting including the ACWG feasible deliverables for the G20 St.Petersburg Summit, will be reported to the G20 Sherpas at their Second Meeting on March 3-4, 2013.