The past two years have been a testament to our progress in building international alliances against corruption. The Alstom settlement; a functional cross debarment agreement among multilateral development banks tripling the number of cross-debarred companies in less than three years; successful investigative outcomes as a result of bilateral and international cooperation and rising numbers of cases around the globe are clear evidence of the impact of our collective action. National and international enforcement action against those stealing development resources is slowly gaining pace.
On June 5, more than 200 senior enforcement officials and heads of investigative bodies will return to the World Bank headquarters for a second meeting, hoping to further strengthen cooperation, share experiences and prioritize actions. ICHA 2012 will focus on highlighting the technological tools, mechanisms, training and experiences of alliance members in their fight against corruption.
Since the launch of ICHA in December 2010, the World Bank Group has engaged with a number of bilateral and international anti-corruption agencies to promote collective action against corruption. The outcome so far is promising. At a meeting hosted by the World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency last April, private sector voices called for support to the “Cartel of the Good.” I was encouraged to hear about new anticorruption initiatives promoting financial disclosure of contracts by both governments and private sector- some of which were supported by the World Bank.
However, these individual actions can only have a true impact if they scale up regionally and globally. Part of the ICHA 2012 agenda will be dedicated to regional priorities. Fighting corruption is not easy and collective action is needed to take the fight forward and ensure a more meaningful impact on corruption.
This is not to say that by the end of our meeting this week, corruption risks will go away. But with the growing power of our alliance, increased access to technology, knowledge and investigative information, progress is unquestionable. There will be more to come. Together we can make a difference. Welcome to ICHA 2012.