30 January 2008

MPs Warning for the CoSP: Better Think Twice! (EN)

[submitted on 30 Jan. 2008 to the CSF Monitor at CoSP 2]
We always think that governments must be accountable to the people, must discuss and debate policy issues with civil society or must comply with provisions in international treaties. But we get carried away, and forget one other truth about accountability: the people, civil society or international organizations only rarely manage to overthrow a government. Parliamentarians are the only people, under almost any constitutional arrangement, that can sack cabinets any day--every day, if they so pleased...

But parliamentarians are not whimsical creatures to overthrow governments whenever they please! A good reason must exist for such a course of action to ensue. Would you think corruption is a good reason? Look up the Declaration issued 30 January 2008 by the Group of Parliamentarians Against Corruption--GOPAC. They are dead serious about living up to the expectations from the Dead Sea. Not only corruption is a good reason to sack a cabinet now, but also failure to implement effective/efficient anti-corruption policies! Moreover, GOPAC meets the expectations of the people, the civil society and international organizations when they identify sound anti-corruption measures with good governance. Therefore, ministers of the world, beware the power of your parliaments!

GOPAC urges the ministerial delegations at the Second Conference of States Parties to speedily decide on the review mechanism concerning the UNCAC implementation. On behalf of the peoples they represent, parliamentarians require transparency for the checklist responses in the pilot program. Parliaments need technical assistance in designing good-governance policies, in drafting proper anti-corruption legislation, in polishing mutual assistance programs on assets recovery. Aside from representation and legislation, parliamentarians are quite tough on oversight, and keen on seeing UNCAC fully ratified and implemented. Whistleblowers and anti-corruption activists the world over may have found their best ally for the 21st Century...

In essence, UNCAC-reluctant governments are now against the wall--unless they consider the recommendations coming from their Civil Society Friends, not only could they lose a valuable helping hand in technical assistance, but they very much stand to lose their seats! As granma used to say, "kiddo, think twice--if I cut your jeans now, I won't be able to turn the shorts into long pants later!" In plain English, MPs warn ministers on minding their business if they were to even intend on curbing the scope of UNCAC... Two thumbs up!
Later edit, on 4 Feb.
I finally arrived home, and the
CoSP left a sour taste in my mouth :( I wish I could see all reports from the ministerial delegations to their respective parliaments, as well as how many cabinets or ministers get sacked as a result. But I don't get my hopes too high :( Thumbs down, for now, unfortunately...

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