Addressing a briefing titled "The issues of fighting corruption within the G20 agenda" at the International Media Centre, Dmitry Feoktistov, Deputy Director of the Department of New Challenges and Threats of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-Chair of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, discussed the implementation of the G20 agenda for combating corruption in the year of the Russian Presidency of the G20.
He pointed out that the discussions on this issue were rather heated, but extremely fruitful. "Corruption is a serious threat many countries face. Overall corruption-related losses total billions of dollars, and the G20 also incurs colossal losses," Dmitry Feoktistov said. "The forum participants have reached full consensus that it would be impossible to implement the ambitious agenda adopted by the G20 today unless effective anti-corruption action is taken," he continued.
The implementation of the G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan 2013-14 is an important aspect of the G20 agenda for combating corruption. The ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption by Saudi Arabia has been a major step forward in fulfilling the obligations countries assumed under this plan. "We can thus say that, as of today, nearly all G20 member states have ratified this important document. There are two states that still must do so, but we are heading in the right direction and expect this to happen very soon," he said.
The G20 Guiding Principles on Enforcement of the Foreign Bribery Offence and Guiding Principles to Combat Solicitation have been drafted. The Denial of Entry Network contact list has been compiled. "The plan has been drafted for a period of two years, and we have managed to make considerable progress in the year of the Russian Presidency," he said.
Moreover, the co-chair of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group announced that this year the Russian Federation has put forward a number of additional initiatives. For instance, acting on a Russian proposal, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has prepared a survey dealing with the influence of corruption on economic growth. "As you can see, this issue is directly linked with one of the priorities of Russia's G20 Presidency," he noted.
The second important initiative deals with anti-corruption efforts during the organization of sports, cultural and other major events. In this connection, Russia has suggested establishing a Global Alliance for Integrity in Sports. "We expect the Leaders to express their support for this initiative in their statements. Without support from the G20, initiatives of this kind have no chance of being successfully carried out," he said.
Additionally, Russia suggested that the parties should examine corruption issues concerning the privatization of state property. The discussion also covered anti-corruption education for officials. As proposed by Russia, the High Level Principles on Mutual Legal Assistance in Corruption Cases have been adopted.
And, finally, this year, Russia has called on its partners to expand the planning horizon on this issue. As a result, a G20 framework strategy to assess anti-corruption issues in the long-term was drafted in St.Petersburg.