Thursday, December 29, 2011
Public Statement of Personal Adhesion to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption
I am also concerned about the implications of the ties, which we all know to exist, between corruption and other forms of crime; particularly with organized crime and money laundering;
Moreover, I am concerned about the cases of corruption that have multiplied and penetrated many sectors of my society, consuming a substantial proportion of public resources, and resulting in the growing indignation of society, in direct threat to the political stability and the sustainable development of my country;
I am convinced that impunity for cases of illicit acquisition of personal wealth can be particularly damaging to the credibility of democratic institutions and to the national economic order;
It is a fact that corruption is no longer considered a local problem; it is accepted to be a multidisciplinary human phenomenon that affects all societies and economies, imposing the urgent need of creating a large network of international cooperation formed by individuals, associations, organizations, and governments, willing to prevent it and fight against it every day;
I have decided to collaborate with all those who strive for the establishment of official mechanisms and the enactment of laws that can prevent, detect, and deter corruption in a more effective manner; along with internal money laundering, andthe international transfers of illicitly acquired assets. I am also in favor of national and international summary proceedings for the seizing of such assets to recover these diverted funds;
I am aware of the fact that local legislation, as well as international laws, impose to the Government of my Country an obligation to trigger actions for the prevention and eradication of corruption in all of its departments, which, to be successful, must count on the support and direct participation of individuals and groups outside the public sector, such as civil society, non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations;
I am also aware of the principles of proper management of public affairs and public assets, of fairness, responsibility and equality before the law, as well as the need to safeguard and strengthen the integrity of democratic institutions, thereby fostering, in my Country, a culture of rejection to corruption;
I hereby agree to personally accept, endorse and support the decision of my country of joining the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, thereby forcing all subsequent governments to adopt, within the limits of their possibilities, all efforts required to promote the active participation of the entire society in preventing and combating corruption;
But considering that, regrettably, none of the governments that followed the decision of my country to join UNCAC, strictly complied with their obligation to include and integrate the community in the fight against corruption and have not performed their duty, in accordance with the same instrument, of raising public awareness of the causes of and the severity of corruption, having thus failed to alert everyone to the threat that it poses;
And so, we must consider this lack of integration of society as the main cause of the failure we have experienced in combating corruption in my Country since 1995. It is imperative to demand from the federal authorities from Government and from the Legislative Power the immediately production of a triggering information campaign throughout the country, aiming at fostering, in a simple and transparent fashion, collective awareness of the seriousness of corruption in my Country, through all means of mass communication, conferences and workshops, school programs, universities, unions, associations, etc.;
Thus, by joining UNCAC my country has accepted – before its people and before other nations – to promote social participation in decision making with regard to combating corruption. That is why we must impose to the government of my country the immediate establishment of a truly participatory and democratic management system to fight corruption, since this is globally accepted as one of the key weapons in this fight;
Considering also that this integration between government and society can only occur as a result of a transparent process of national understanding, backed up by media coverage and collaboration, in which voting mechanisms of direct democracy can be used in cases that do not reach a consensus, or even to confirm the existence of a prevailing consensus, this is the only way that citizens have to have an active voice in decision making, without political demagogy, thereby allowing them to exercise popular sovereignty, through plebiscites and referenda ;
Taking into account the fact that, above all, the only known and proven formula for a legal act to gain commitment and support from the entire society for its satisfactory implementation, is to publicly discuss its format, and, after its approval by the Legislative Power, submit it to society for approval through a citizen referendum;
And, finally, considering that to gain indispensable popular consent and support, the proposed measures must establish no time limits to investigatecorruption crimes, thereby increasing the efficiency of investigative mechanisms, while also restricting the freedom and privileges of those involved in such scams, seizing their assets, freezing their accounts, and applying more severe penalties – i.e.: treating corruption as a heinous crime;
These are the reasons I have personally joined UNCAC, for I realize that, beyond the merits in the fight against corruption, the Convention also provides me with an opportunity to help with a breakthrough for democracy in my country by means of establishing, as a legal requirement, the mandatory direct participation of the entire society in the formulation of public policies to combat corruption, as guarantee of further popular support in the implementation and execution of such policies, which should be valid also for all other acting fronts of the Nation.
Thus, considering the power of the decision of the majority as the greatest of all democratic powers – and axiomatic principle and prerequisite of democracy, expressed in many constitutions as “popular sovereignty”, or source from which all government ramifications emanate – I hereby DECLARE, to whom it may concern, that I am fully convinced of the need for immediate integration of the public in all stages of the fight against corruption, starting with the development of a shared public policy, from the drawing up of laws and the enforcement of actions to be taken to the subsequent monitoring of the implementation of such measures, whose success will only be guaranteed if ultimately approved by society, thereby legitimizing a national pact against corruption.
In accordance to the above-stated facts and fully exercising my rights as a citizen, I have constantly demanded from the government and the Congress in my country the immediate fulfillment of their institutional obligations, under penalty of prevarication, to fulfill the promise of immediately including my society in the fight against corruption and, to the best of their abilities, sponsor and conduct public education programs in schools and universities, and symposia and seminars in associations and unions. In short; to carry out all required activities of public information to foster in society a collective sense of intolerance toward corruption.
IN FULL CONFORMITY with this public statement, I hereby endorse it with my personal commitment to the UN Convention Against Corruption, in order to fight for the timely and full implementation of its regulations, especially with regard to the implementation of Article 13 of this Convention, with certainty that I am contributing to the peace and the progress of my Country.
UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION AGAINST CORRUPTION
The States Parties to this Convention,
Concerned about the seriousness of problems and threats posed by corruption to the stability and security of societies, undermining the institutions and values of democracy, ethical values and justice and jeopardizing sustainable development and the rule of law, Concerned also about the links between corruption and other forms of crime, in particular organized crime and economic crime, including money laundering,
Concerned further about cases of corruption that involve vast quantities of assets, which may constitute a substantial proportion of the resources of States, and that threaten the political stability and sustainable development of those States,
Convinced that corruption is no longer a local matter but a transnational phenomenon that affects all societies and economies, making international cooperation to prevent and control it essential,
Convinced also that a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach is required to prevent and combat corruption effectively,
Convinced further that the availability of technical assistance can play an important role in enhancing the ability of States, including by strengthening capacity and by institution-building, to prevent and combat corruption effectively,
Convinced that the illicit acquisition of personal wealth can be particularly damaging to democratic institutions, national economies and the rule of law,
Determined to prevent, detect and deter in a more effective manner international transfers of illicitly acquired assets and to strengthen international cooperation in asset recovery, Acknowledging the fundamental principles of due process of law in criminal proceedings and in civil or administrative proceedings to adjudicate property rights....
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