US Attorney General Eric Holder [official website] called Monday for increased international efforts in fighting corruption. Speaking to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) [official website] Holder reaffirmed the US commitment toward fighting corruption and called on several countries including China, India, and Russia to adopt the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention [materials]. Holder indicated that the only way the goals of the Convention could be met is through international cooperation. In his remarks, Holder also stressed that corruption is not only wrong, but also harmful, stating [statement]:
For the global economy, corruption is dangerous. Bribery in international business, for example, may center on shell companies and wire transfers, but no matter where - or how - it happens, the corrosive result is the same: stymied development, lost confidence, and distorted competition. The result is unfairness, not justice; the consequence is economic decay, not development.Thirty-eight countries including the US, France, Germany, and the UK have currently adopted the convention.
Corruption continues to be a worldwide concern, particularly in Russia. In December, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin [official website, Russian] urged greater anti-corruption efforts [JURIST report]. In November, Transparency International (TI) [advocacy website] ranked Russia 146th out of 180 countries in its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) [text; JURIST report]. In January 2009, First Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Buksman [official profile] reported that corruption cases are increasing [JURIST report] in Russia and now account for about 1.5 percent of recorded crimes there. In December 2008, Medvedev signed anti-corruption legislation [JURIST report] imposing income reporting requirements on public officials and restricting gifts. Medvedev had urged anti-corruption measures since taking office [JURIST reports] in May 2008.