“Now is the time to act!” That is the message of the 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, which was opened Monday by the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen. The conference is cohosted by Transparency International and the government of Denmark and brings together more than 1,500 participants including heads of state, civil society actors, the private sector and journalists from more than 120 countries.
Ghana has sent a very strong delegation to Denmark including – among others – the Deputy Minister of Finance Kwaku Kwarteng, Auditor General Daniel Yaw Domelevo, Special Prosecutor Martin A.B.K. Amidu and representatives of media and civil society. The two ambassadors of Ghana to Denmark, Amerley Ollennu Awua-Asamoa, and Denmark to Ghana, Tove Degnbol, are also participating.
Deputy Minister of Finance Kwaku Kwarteng agrees, indeed, that time has come to act: “We don’t have any choice. We cannot continue to talk and talk. I think there is a general change in attitude and a realization that we have acted less than we have spoken. We have had many of these conferences in the past without really acting. I hope – and I am confident – that we will leave this conference with better resolve to implement the conclusions, so that the next time, we are here, we shall discuss progress and how we can even have more progress.”
Auditor General Daniel Yaw Domelevo was also optimistic: “It is such an inspiration to hear what other countries are doing, and I am confident that the inspiration we get here will be put to immediate action in Ghana.”
Linda Ofori-Kwafo, Executive Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative, the Ghanaian chapter of Transparency International, emphasised the broad anti-corruption alliance represented at the conference: ”Fighting corruption cannot be the work of only one person. We need collaborative efforts by government institutions, civil society, media and the private sector. Only when we come together – as at this conference – and work together, we are able to end corruption.”
On the very first day of the conference, more than 45 national governments, businesses and organisations endorsed a statement aiming to prevent and drive out corruption. The signatories – among them Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Finance Kwaku Kwarteng – pledged to take action in key areas including returning the proceeds of corruption to their rightful owners, ending secrecy over company ownership, clamping down on money laundering and tax evasion, promoting integrity in state owned enterprises, and improving implementation of existing conventions such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption and frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of Denmark in Ghana.