1211 GENEVA 19


Resolution adopted without a vote by the 94th Inter-Parliamentary Conference
(Bucharest, 13 October 1995)

The 94th Inter-Parliamentary Conference,

Acutely aware that corruption is a global phenomenon which occurs in developed and developing countries alike and has existed at all times and in virtually every society, albeit to varying degrees,

Recognizing that, although its manifestations vary from country to country according to the level of economic development and although attitudes to it differ from one culture to another, corruption is fundamentally the same evil wherever it occurs,

Noting with concern that corruption is a serious threat to the rule of law, the stability and security of societies and the fair distribution of resources since it undermines fundamental democratic values and institutions and jeopardizes social, economic and political development and the enjoyment of human rights,

Concerned about links between corruption and other forms of crime, particularly organized crime, terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and other economic crimes at both national and international level,

Believing that the integrity, accountability and transparency of the political system and the civil service are a fundamental requirement for the trust, credibility and authority of government in a modern and democratic society,

Recalling the importance of the Draft Convention on Measures to be taken in the International Field against those Guilty in the Exercise of Public Office, of Fraudulent Enrichment Prejudicial to the Public Interest, adopted by the 51st Inter-Parliamentary Conference in Brasilia on 1 November 1962,

Taking into consideration the valuable study produced in 1986 by the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments, entitled "The Financial Interests of Member of Parliament" and concerning the rules and practice of parliaments with regard to the declaration of the financial interests of their members as a means of preserving or enhancing the good name of Parliament,

Welcoming the efforts of the United Nations General Assembly to limit the destructive effects of corruption, particularly its resolutions 45/107 of 1990 on international co-operation for crime prevention and criminal justice in the context of development, and 46/152 of 1991 on the creation of an effective United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme, which aims to promote international co-operation in this area in order to ensure a more appropriate climate for development in all countries,

Welcoming also the effective mechanisms proposed by the United Nations Congresses on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, particularly the Manual on practical measures against corruption recommended by the 9th Congress held in Cairo from 29 April to 8 May 1995, as well as the draft United Nations Economic and Social Council resolution adopted by the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its 4th session in Vienna from 30 May - 9 June 1995 entitled "Action Against Corruption" and the Draft International Code of Conduct for Public Officials annexed thereto,

Recalling with approval the European Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime, concluded at Strasbourg on 8 November 1990, the Directive of the Council of the European Communities of 10 June 1991 on Prevention of the Use of the Financial System for the Purpose of Money Laundering, and the resolution of the Conference of European Ministers of Justice on civil, administrative and criminal law aspects of corruption which met in Valletta from 14 - 15 June 1994,

Appreciating the ongoing work of the Council of Europe, the OECD, the Financial Action Task Force, and applauding and encouraging other international and regional initiatives to combat corruption,

Noting, however, that in recent years corruption has grown alarmingly owing, in particular, to the liberalization and globalization of trade, the introduction of new technologies and the increasing role of multinational corporations in a rapidly evolving political and economic context,

Noting further that these new forms of corruption and unlawful practices call for the intensification of international co-operation, including the establishment of an international legal framework and the speedy implementation of the relevant international instruments,


1. Calls on States:

(a) To develop international co-operation to fight corruption, in the form of extradition agreements, mutual legal assistance or any other measure likely to improve knowledge and repression of corruption;

(b) To develop mechanisms for co-operation in the judicial, banking and financial areas in order to facilitate prompt and effective international investigation of corruption cases;

(c) To participate in regional and inter-regional seminars that encourage the exchange of information on anti-corruption techniques, laws and research, and the examination and promotion of improvements in institutional arrangements and procedures;

2. Urges international organizations, including the Inter-Parliamentary Union, to play a key role in the fight against corruption by promoting international co-operation for that purpose and by supporting national democratic reforms and good governance;

3. Resolves to establish a Working Group to update the draft Convention on Measures to be taken in the International Field Against those Guilty in the Exercise of Public Office, of Fraudulent Enrichment Prejudicial to the Public Interest, adopted by the 51st Inter-Parliamentary Conference in Brasilia on 1 November 1962, with a view to its submission to the United Nations for consideration;


4. Recommends that parliaments promote the inclusion in the Constitution of their respective countries of the major principles of the probity of politicians, institutions and public servants and transparency in the public administration;

5. Requests governments and parliaments:

(a) To investigate the causes of corruption, including those within their own political systems and structures, at the local, national and regional level, and to share their findings with each other on a regular basis;

(b) To combat the causes of corruption, in particular by:

  • Guaranteeing an adequate level of social security to every citizen;
  • Introducing public service pay structures which are not conducive to corruption;
  • Establishing speedy and transparent bureaucratic procedures;
  • Guaranteeing that all participate equally in the decision-making process;

(c) To combat corruption and its effects by:

  • Encouraging the public to denounce and condemn corruption;
  • Speaking out in favour of universal freedom of expression and freedom of the press, especially in view of its important watchdog role;
  • Promoting civil courage and moral integrity;
  • Incorporating provisions into the Criminal Code, administrative law and all other areas of law to reduce the scope for corruption and related offences, and introducing penalties which deter potential offenders;
  • Creating just and transparent tax laws to ensure a fair and equitable system of taxation and contributions;
  • Creating institutions such as independent courts, auditors and ombudsmen, and providing them with adequate resources to monitor and enforce these legal provisions effectively;
  • Providing all persons actively involved in combating corruption with effective support and protection from duress;
  • Obliging political parties and organizations to declare the sources of their funding;

(d) To adapt their legislation so that persons residing on their territory who corrupt foreign public servants or authorities are punished or at least extradited to the country concerned, and to make it an offence to launder the proceeds from corruption, including in a third State;

6. Calls on States:

(a) To take steps to criminalize corruption and to adopt or revise regulatory measures for increasing the capacity of States to respond to the problem of corruption;

(b) To ensure proper oversight of government and elective functions by strengthening internal mechanisms, including preventive, investigative and enforcement capacity with respect to acts of corruption, and by guaranteeing public access to information necessary for meaningful outside review;

(c) To step up anti-corruption efforts and increase public confidence in the integrity of government and democratic institutions by establishing codes of conduct for government ministers, members of Parliament and public officials with monitoring and enforcement mechanisms, training programmes and other supporting practices and procedures, including public declaration of assets when taking up or leaving their respective offices;

(d) To establish conflict of interest standards for public employees and effective measures against illicit enrichment, including appropriate sanctions for those who utilize their public position to benefit private interests;

(e) To give priority to strengthening laws and regulations on government procurement procedures, tax collection, the administration of justice and electoral and legislative procedures.

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