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Leaders' Statement

Andrew Wilson

Executive Director (Acting)

Center for International Private Enterprise

Washington, DC, United States, North America

Bio

Andrew Wilson is the Executive Director (Acting) at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). Mr. Wilson manages CIPE’s programs worldwide. The Center for International Private Enterprise strengthens democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform. http://www.cipe.org

Statement

Making Business Part of the Solution

Corruption has a degrading, crippling effect on the lives of the majority of the world’s inhabitants. It saps the entrepreneurial drive of small- and mid-sized business owners and stymies economic development. It undermines the institutions of democracy and hurts basic human dignity.

The private sector is often perceived through the lens of corporate scandals as a contributor to the corruption problem. Yet, a vast majority of businesses are primarily victims of corruption, not willing participants. Bribery and extortion-tainted environments make it hard to operate with integrity. CIPE’s experience shows, however, that even in such difficult circumstances businesses find ways to push back against ingrained practices. They are a key part of the solution and they need our support.

CIPE works with business organizations around the globe to help their members move beyond box-checking compliance to the pursuit of higher ethical standards. We support collective action against corruption as an integral part of business advocacy, both at the country level and internationally. CIPE also serves as co-chair of the Private Sector Council on Open Governance, part of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), where we engage with diverse stakeholders to promote transparency, economic growth, and local innovations that strengthen accountability. From this unique vantage point, CIPE welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Manifesto by calling upon the heads of governments to:

  • Leverage the OGP process and the Private Sector Council on Open Governance to strengthen multi-stakeholder engagement in building more effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions;
  • Commit to an anti-corruption agenda that makes the international business community an equal partner in this shared endeavor through public-private dialogue at national and global fora;
  • Respond swiftly when opportunities arise to support governments newly committed to pursuing concrete anti-corruption measures;
  • Outline steps to enhance availability of data and government accountability in corruption-prone processes such as customs administration, public procurement, and governance of state-owned enterprises; and
  • Pledge support to, and provide positive incentives for, businesses of all sectors and sizes to promote ethical standards, anti-corruption programs, and voluntary codes of conduct, especially in emerging markets.

It is in every nation’s interest to build clean business environments and nurture businesses that challenge corruption and embrace transparency in striving for more equitable global prosperity grounded in the rule of law. The London Anti-Corruption Summit presents a unique opportunity for government and business leaders to work together and translate high-level commitments into concrete actions.

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We are grateful to all the authors and contributing organisations within this Manifesto and to the partner organisations that helped to convene this landmark collection of anti-corruption statements from across a wide range of business and civil society leaders. The partners for the Leaders' Anti-Corruption Manifesto are The B Team, Thomson Reuters, the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, the ONE campaign and the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council

This project is supported by a grant from the Omidyar Network.

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