Hallinnon heikkous lisää korruptioalttiutta, ministeri Hautala totesi Transparency Internationalin tilaisuudessa. Riskit ovat suuria esimerkiksi maissa, joissa on valtavasti luonnonvaroja, mutta puutteellinen lainsäädäntö ja epäselvät pelisäännöt.
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Transparency International Seminar 07/06/12
Minister Heidi Hautala
Corruption and Development Aid
Corruption is one of the biggest threats to the realization of human rights, it distorts business and economic growth, increases environmental degradation and threatens democracy and the rule of law. Being a human rights issue, it is a concern for individuals, societies, companies, governments and international organisations alike.
Corruption requires two sides. There is always a supply and a demand side, whether out of greed or out of need. The impact of corruption extends beyond the people involved in the corruptive activity. Corruption may reveal itself as unfinished bridges, ill-equipped schools and ultimately as lives lost.
Although corruption works globally, it impacts low-income people the most. People on low incomes pay relatively the highest price as a result of corruption. Corruption can affect them directly by impeding access to public services, such as water, health and education. It affects them indirectly too, by diverting resources away from investments in infrastructure and social services. They also have to pay higher prices if competition does not materialize.
The cornerstone of the new Finnish Development Policy Programme is human rights based approach in all development co-operation and a human rights respecting, democratic and accountable state.
The seriousness of corruption as a phenomenon is widely recognized. Even though, the phenomenon itself remains endemic. Preventing corruption is the responsibility of every civil servant in the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. It is not an issue of “will” but rather is an issue of “must”. So, it is not only a moral responsibility for foreign ministry officials to try to prevent corruption. Neglecting this responsibility can have legal implications. In Finnish legislation corruption is a criminalised act and naturally also, bad governance. The new Anti-corruption Handbook for Development Practitioners, which is launched in August, will further develop the capacity of the Foreign Ministry Officials to prevent and identify corruption.
What do we do then to minimize the risks of corruption in development co-operation? And what are the current focus areas of Finnish anti-corruption work?
Preventing corruption requires strengthening governance. Anti-corruption is one of thematic areas of governance but in the context of the Finnish anti-corruption work it plays the most crucial role. Addressing corruption through “preventive lenses and tools” and strengthening the preventive governance structures through political dialogue and operational activities both at bilateral and multilateral forums, form the cornerstone of Finnish anti-corruption work. Finland spends around 5 % of its ODA on governance strengthening activities. Finland is currently reviewing its possibilities to support more such activities. I am certain that this will allow us to see also more development results.
There is strong evidence of a link between the quality of a country’s governance system and its development performance. Problems of poverty and governance are inextricably linked like stated in the Millennium Declaration.
One has to be aware, that there is a big difference between the role of governance in international development discourse and the role of governance in development co-operation. There is “a lot of talk” but “the talk” has not always ended in concrete work with results.
Corruption comes into the picture when there are too many unresolved governance problems, resulting from incompleteness of the process of building an effective and accountable state.
It is encouraging to see people in many countries now standing up and saying that enough is enough – and putting pressure on their own governments. We can – and must – support their work but at the end of the day the pressure to change must come from the grassroots level.
The more we address governance and anti-corruption issues in development co-operation, the less we are confronted by corruption.
International legal framework. Finland is firmly committed to the international legal framework addressing governance and anti-corruption. The normative principles of governance like participation, rule of law, transparency, responsiveness, effectiveness, efficiency and accountability are all found in legally binding international conventions ratified by Finland and also by the partner countries of Finland. So we have a legal basis to discuss these issues.
Good governance as a concept is not directly a topic in itself in any legally binding international instrument but there is a wealth of United Nations human rights instruments of direct relevance and applicability to questions of governance. United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) has added a wealth of new stipulations on governance to the already existing international agreements. Thereof, international community has a common and mutually agreed framework against corruption, on what we all rely on and enforce.
Natural Resource Management. It is paradox that people who live in a country full of diamonds, rainforest, oil or gas suffer from poverty. The majority of the world’s poorest people live in resource-rich countries. The oil and diamond revenues have not transformed into positive development outcomes in many countries. On the contrary, finding natural resources can be a curse. Thus, it is not surprising that natural resource management has become a crucial aspect in the discussion on anti-corruption and thereof, on good governance. Weak governance and corruption lie behind the natural resource curse.
Corruption may happen inside natural resource management itself; instead of diverting the state’s public funds to poverty reduction efforts, public funds may be targeted to areas and sectors that guarantee the continuum in power.
Utilisation and management of natural resources in developing countries is done by multinational corporations, and people are often unaware of the contracts between the business and governments. There might be vested interest in play. We also need to take a look at the state owned companies and their steering, not only the multinationals.
At the moment huge amount of profits flow out the developing countries for various reasons and do not therefore contribute to the development of the host country. The citizens in oil- and mineral-rich countries do not know how much money their governments are receiving in return for the exploitation of their natural resources.
The European Union is currently finalising transparency legislation which would require extractive companies to publish what they pay to the governments where they operate. We need to ensure that forests are also included in the directive. Finland needs to promote this actively since the question is now under dispute. In coherence to the Government Programme and Finland’s new Development Policy Programme Finland supports the current proposal EU’s Transparency and Accounting Directives that covers oil, gas, minerals but also logging industries.
Indeed, in addition to non-renewable resources the risk of corruption cuts across renewable resources too, such as forests, fisheries and land. Europe’s response to the illegal logging is reflected in the FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) Action Plan.
More transparency in the revenue side of natural resource industry is not a guarantee of a corruption free process. The chain of corruption works before and after “publishing what you pay and earn”. A big part of corruption takes place when deciding which company gets the license to drill minerals or how much it can drill.
Finland continues to support international initiatives like FLEGT and EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) which aim to strengthen governance by improving transparency, accountability and law enforcement in the extractives and forestry sectors. We will be joining EITIs board in 2013 with even a stronger focus on the development implications of these initiatives. In my visit to Tanzania last week I had a chance to talk with professor Paul Collier with whom I discussed Finland’s possibilities to support inclusion of renewables also in NEPAD’s Natural Resource Charter
Anti-corruption for human rights. Corruption violates basic human rights and liberties, maintaining discrimination and injustice. That is why we need good whistleblowers who prevent or highlight corruption for public. Those people who in good faith report their suspicions on possible corruption. People, who fight against corruption, are also human right defenders and need our protection. Whistleblowers are becoming more important in citizen-level efforts to fight corruption, but they still lack adequate legal protections in nearly every country in the world.
When exposing corruption whistleblowers can be afraid of or face retaliation, such as violence. Finland will continue its work in this field where “silence is not a virtue”. We have a good record of whistleblower protection work, which has been done together with Transparency International.
Anti-corruption movement. Civil society and NGOs form an integral part of the global anti-corruption movement. Without active citizenry there the problem of corruption will never be solved. In the spirit of the new Development Policy Programme, Finland will increase NGO support not only financially, but by supporting the active involvement of NGOs in all development co-operation both in bilateral and multilateral forums. Third party monitoring and “objective eyes” are needed in order to increase the openness and transparency of development co-operation.
By investing more on anti-corruption work we will also see more development results. TI is a long-term partner of Finland and our excellent co-operation will continue in the future.