Corruption, Peace and Security

Rebecca Dobson, HAH Bartholomew, Siim Kallas, Nikos Passas, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, Mark Pieth, Irene Khan, José Ugaz, 13th IACC, Plenary report, Human Security


Title of Plenary: Corruption, Peace and Security

Moderator Jose Ugaz, Forno and Ugaz

Rapporteur Rebecca Dobson, Transparency International Secretariat

Panellists(Name, institution, title)

HAH Bartholomew Ecumenical Patriarch

Siim Kallas, Vice President European Commission

Nikos Passas Professor, Northeastern UniversityCollegeof Criminal Justice

Rodolfo Stavenhagen, Former UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples

Mark Pieth, Professor, BaselUniversity, Chairman of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions

Irene Khan, Secretary General, Amnesty International

Main Issues Covered

Issues covered by participants:


·         Corruption is not just a crime it is at the core of societal problems at the heart of the rule of law and society. There are three main ways that corruption affects peace and security:

o        It fuels militancy and creates an environment where people feel compelled to take up arms.

o        It facilitates terrorism (assisting terrorists to cross borders and board planes, for example, on payment of a bribe)

o        It is an enabling mechanism for allowing sanctioning and embargo violations as well as enabling the illegal trade in humans and drugs.

·         Corruption affects the most vulnerable people. Their vulnerability means that they are easily co-opted into corrupt systems, such as human trafficking in the hope of improving their lives.

·         The OECD has established a rigorous monitoring system and has been outspoken in condemning certain countries for non-compliance. Being strict on these countries and their companies means that corruption is made more difficult everywhere and encourages us that change is possible even with powerful players.

·         Coordination between human rights organisations and anti-corruption organisations would bring a focus on individuals. An empowered citizen is the best tool against corruption. When people know their rights they can hold their leaders to account.

·         Civil society also needs to be more transparent as it is not immune to corruption.

·         Corruption is not always top down: indigenous communities also use corruption as a means to survive and access basic resources. It is a way of life that is embedded in the relationship between indigenous people and wider society.

·         There is a danger that if human rights and anti-corruption organisations do not work together, they could frustrate the work of each other. For example, it is important that human rights standards are adhered to when corrupt officials are being tried.

Recommendations, Follow-up Actions

·         Corruption is not only political it has a human dimension. We need to tackle the culture of corruption.

·         We need a reorientation of culture and education in order to fight corruption and promote integrity.

·         While all institutions are affected by corruption, the message of the church can assist in fighting corruption: it emphasises the importance of community needs over individual gain.

·         There are enough laws, but they need to be implemented. The challenge is to implement and apply rules that are already in place.

·         Human rights can provide important tools for fighting corruption, such as the rights to freedom of assembly and expression.

·         Solutions can be found in an alternative approach to development with the participation and empowerment of indigenous people: what they have called development with identity.

·         This is not only a legal issue, it is a question of participation and empowerment and human dignity.

·         As corruption is a systemic problem, criminalisation is not enough. The systems need to be put straight and so the response needs to be complex: a multi-layered strategy.

Plenary Highlights (including interesting quotes)

·         There should be more cooperation between TI and AI: this elicited a round of applause.




docCorruption, Peace and Security

Brazil 2012

Brazil 2012

IACC Video

IACC Video