Vienna, 29 November 2012 – “Corruption is a global threat with severely negative impacts on the rule of law, democracy, social and economic development”, State Secretary Lopatka said at the first Assembly of Parties of the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) chaired by Austrian Minister of the Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner. “No country is immune to corruption; this also includes Austria. Joint efforts are therefore ever more important to effectively fight and prevent corruption in the long term”, Lopatka said.
“The great interest in the IACA is an encouraging sign of the international community of states and illustrates that the fight against corruption is taken seriously”, the State Secretary said and continued: “IACA and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are both based in Austria which makes our country the global centre of competence in the fight against corruption.” The high-level representatives at the conference of the IACA Assembly of Parties on 29 and 30 November at the Vienna International Centre underline the importance of the new international organisation, he said.
Minister of Justice Beatrix Karl who is going to welcome the attendants in the name of Austria at a dinner at the Hofburg Palace emphasised the comprehensive measures that Austria has taken in its fight against corruption over the past few months. “While international media criticised Austria for cases of corruption only a few months ago, we are now being praised as a role model in the fight against corruption”, Karl said before the evening reception referring to a recent statement of EU Commissioner for Justice Viviane Reding. “This improvement is due to several measures: We have expanded the Central Public Prosecution Department for the Prosecution of Commercial Criminal Cases and Corruption; we adopted strict penal provisions for corruption; the Lobbying Act came into force; and the judiciary bodies have carried out thorough investigations in cases of corruption.”
The International Anti-Corruption Academy is located in Laxenburg. It was founded in 2010 by Austria with partners such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the European Anti-Fraud Office OLAF. Currently, the Academy has 61 signatories and contractual parties. The Academy is an independent international institution for anti-corruption education, training, research, analysis, consulting and networking.
On the sidelines of the conference, the programme of the first world's first Master study course in anti-corruption studies was presented.
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