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Commonwealth boss condemns corruption

By Joyce Namutebi

Added 10th December 2016 09:08 AM

“Corruption steals ideals and subverts innovation. It undermines the inventive and intellectual drive that animates technological progress and cultural creativity, robbing scientists, engineers, artists and athletes of the rewards that are their due,” Scotland said.

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Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland. Photo/AFP

“Corruption steals ideals and subverts innovation. It undermines the inventive and intellectual drive that animates technological progress and cultural creativity, robbing scientists, engineers, artists and athletes of the rewards that are their due,” Scotland said.

Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland has condemned corruption describing it as “a scourge which holds in thrall millions of our Commonwealth sisters and brothers, condemning them to servitude, poverty, disease, indignity and misery’.

“Corruption steals ideals and subverts innovation. It undermines the inventive and intellectual drive that animates technological progress and cultural creativity, robbing scientists, engineers, artists and athletes of the rewards that are their due,” Scotland said.

She said she was determined that the Commonwealth will be in the forefront of innovative thinking and practical action to eliminate the scourge of corruption from institutions of governance and public life at every level, from sport, from trade, and from commerce.”

This was at the Transparency International-UK Anti-Corruption Lecture 2016 in London, a statement issued on December 8, 2016.

Uganda is a member of the Commonwealth, which is a voluntary association of slightly over 50 independent and equal sovereign states. The Association includes some of the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries, spanning five regions. Thirty-one of its members are small states, many of them island nations.

Leaders of member countries shape Commonwealth policies and priorities. Every two years, they meet to discuss issues affecting the Commonwealth and the wider world at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Secretary-General Scotland said that she has worked with Transparency International formally and informally over the years and that she would continue to do so ‘as long as corruption continues to spread its poison’.

Meanwhile Scotland also launched a new book written by the Commonwealth Secretariat, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which brings together guidance on how to tackle corruption and money laundering.

“Model Legislative Provisions on Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing, Preventative Measures and Proceeds of Crime” is the first time that various strands of law are brought together, making it easier for countries to adapt or adopt measures into their legal framework.

“This is an excellent resource,” said Scotland. “It is tailor made to help countries, not just in the Commonwealth but around the world, to implement best practice when it comes to combating corruption, money laundering, funding terrorism, recovering the proceeds of crime and investigating unexplained wealth.”

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