Remarks by H.E. Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa Minister for Foreign Affairs Republic of Indonesia
At the International Conference on Foreign Bribery in International Business Transactions Bali, Indonesia, 11 May 2011
Yang terhormat Bapak Bibit Samad Rianto, Bapak Chandra Hamzah dan Bapak Mochamad Jasin, Honourable Commissioners of the Corruption Eradication Commission of the Republic of Indonesia,
Distinguished Representatives of the OECD and the G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group,
Mr. Nicola Bonucci, Chair of this morning’s discussion,
Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen,
A very good morning to all of you.
Let me start by thanking very much the Corruption Eradication Commission of the Republic of Indonesia for kindly inviting me to speak before this august gathering.
Indeed, I am truly pleased to be able to contribute to its important deliberations.
First, because this Conference demonstrates how a developing country, a developing economy like Indonesia, and developed economies such as the members of the OECD can forge a partnership in pursuit of a common goal, namely, the eradication of corruption.
Second, because this Conference is being held back-to-back with the meeting of the G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group. And both events therefore link in-depth discussions of the Conference with inter-governmental mechanisms of the Working Group. They match an exchange of perspectives with the building of concrete networks.
And third, because this Conference provides an ideal forum for sharing lessons learned, identifying best practices, and exploring further opportunities for cooperation.
I am therefore confident that this international Conference will lead to concrete, valuable recommendations, and will contribute to our common efforts to eradicate corruption, particularly foreign bribery.
Ladies and gentlemen,
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in his keynote address before this Conference yesterday, underlined that fighting corruption is not just a moral imperative – it is actually democratic, social and economic imperatives as well.
The President also highlighted that to fight corruption, we need perseverance. We need support from all elements of society, including the private sector. We need to keep the top clean. And we need to do that in a sustained manner.
Indeed, inaction is not an option.
For corruption, including foreign bribery, is a serious crime with serious consequences.
Corruption and brbery are severe impediments to good governance, to justice and to economic growth.
They undermine national and international legal frameworks, and destroy public trust.
They distort the market, and tilt the level playing fields of business and thereby discourage serious investors.
And ultimately, they inflict immense suffering on society’s most vulnerable people, particularly on developing countries — the poor whose access to economic opportunity are thus radically diminished.
And thus corruption eradication has been the main priority of the Indonesian administration.
President Yudhoyono addressed this very Conference yesterday precisely to affirm such a vigorous commitment on the part of Indonesia.
A commitment that is integral to Indonesia’s overall reform process. A commitment to learn from past mistakes and take concrete steps to rectify them. To build a democratic, to build a transparent and accountable system of governance. To lay a solid foundation for a stronger, more prosperous, and more equitable Indonesia. And most of all, to include all elements of our society in this concerted effort.
It is not, obviously, an easy task, as I am sure our colleagues and friends from the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission who are present here today, can no doubt testify. Yet, as they can also testify, Indonesia is determined to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to defeat corruption.
Determined to employ every feasible strategy, every workable approach in combating corruption. And to provide transparency and accountability.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Corruption has obviously no respect for national borders. We in Indonesia are therefore heartened that the international community is now focused on the battle against corruption. And that we are thus not on our own.
This is evident when the G-20 adopted an Agenda for Action on Combatting Corruption, Promoting Market Integrity, and Supporting Clean Business Environment, during its latest Summit in Seoul last November.
Indonesia of course was very much involved in the formulation of the G-20 Agenda for Action. Indonesia, as you are aware, co-chairs with France the G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group that was established in June 2010. And the Working Group carried out the spade work toward the formulation of this G-20 Agenda. And there is much more that the international community can do.
Indeed, all members of the international community have a distinct responsibility to prevent and to eradicate corruption and foreign bribery. To establish legal and policy frameworks that promote a clean business environment. And to constantly assist developing economies in their capacity building efforts to combat corruption and foreign bribery.
International partnership is therefore crucial and critical, and must be forged at all levels. Partnership must be pursued multilateraly, particularly within the framework of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
Partnership must be promoted regionally. For instance, ASEAN member States can base their fight against foreign bribery on the ASEAN Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.
Partnership must also be devised bilaterally. For instance, through bilateral MLA (Mutual Legal Assistance) agreements and extradition arrangements. And partnership, I believe, must also be inclusive. It must link developing and developed nations. A good example of such partnership obviously is the aforementioned co-chairmanship of France and Indonesia of the G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group.
It is in this spirit that the OECD, in advancing its anti-corruption agenda, should also reach out to the developing world. There must be no gap between the OECD agenda and the perspectives of developing countries. And this very Conference we are holding today is an example of how the OECD partners with the developing world.
Finally, we must ensure that all relevant stakeholders are on board. Be they governmental or non-governmental. Be they public sector entities or private companies. And there should be effective communication among all stakeholders to ensure that anti-corruption strategies are well-targetted, and expectations are well-managed.
Ladies and gentlemen,
To ensure effective participation of developing countries in such partnership, in the fight against corruption, international partnership should be focused on several priority areas.
First, partnership in building the capacity of developing countries. We need to strengthen anti-corruption bodies and law enforcement authorities in the developing countries.
We also need to enhance the capacity of developing countries for financial auditing, reporting, and running compliance mechanisms. Not least, capacity building must necessarily be, we believe, country-driven, based on the actual needs of the country concerned. For example, a country may decide to set up a specialized body to fight and prevent corruption and bribery, an option that Indonesia has taken.
In this regard, we are pleased that the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission stands ready to share its experience and lessons learned with other countries. Second, partnership in law enforcement and legal matters, including extradition, mutual legal assistance, and asset recovery.
Third, partnership towards effective implementation of the UNCAC. The international community must work for the early universal ratification of the Convention.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Yesterday, President Yudhoyono underlined that there is so much that we can accomplish together.
Indeed, we can all win the fight against corruption, in the fight against foreign bribery.
Indonesia today is making tremendous efforts, and I believe tremendous gains in that-all important fight. Hundreds of high-profile corruptors in the public and private sectors are now being held accountable.
There is no reason all of us cannot win this good fight. We have the commitment and the political will. And we have the framework as well.