Groups push harder for establishment of IACC – The Sun Nigeria
By Henri Uché
As the call for the institutionalization of the International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC) gains momentum, global civil society organizations have expressed optimism that it will be actualized as more and more people and d companies affix signatures to this effect.
In its quarterly newsletter, Integrity Initiatives International (III) – the campaign coordinator of IACC and its Nigerian civil society partner – HEDA Resource Center announced global efforts to strengthen criminal law enforcement to punish and deter corrupt leaders and end impunity for grand corruption.
In his message, III President Justice Mark L. Wolf said Integrity Initiatives International has catalyzed a fast-moving campaign to create an International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC) and has been deeply involved in the creation of the Ukrainian National Commission for the Fight against Corruption. anti-corruption tribunal, as well as the selection and training of its judges.
Quoting former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, he reiterated: “Every day Putin continues to be in power, the case for an international anti-corruption tribunal grows.” If the IACC had been created years ago, it is more likely that Putin would now be in jail, rather than criminally killing Ukrainians.
The III boss argued that two recent events have given him a better understanding of the urgent importance of the III’s mission to strengthen criminal law enforcement against kleptocrats.
III revealed that more than 40 former country presidents and prime ministers supported the creation of the IACC. “Integrity Initiatives International (III) and Club de Madrid have announced that 42 former presidents and prime ministers are now among the more than 250 eminent personalities from more than 75 countries who have signed the declaration calling for the creation of an international tribunal against -corruption (IACC).
He added that the Declaration calls for a new international tribunal to punish and deter grand corruption – the abuse of public power for private gain by the rulers of nations (kleptocrats) – which thrives in many countries and has devastating consequences for climate change, human rights, human health, and international peace and security, as tragically evidenced by the war in Ukraine and the loss of staggering sums of COVID relief funds -19 because of fraud.
“Grand corruption has global dimensions and cannot be tackled by affected countries alone. This is the main reason why an international anti-corruption tribunal is needed,” said Danilo Türk, President of Slovenia (2007-2012) and President of Club de Madrid.
The campaign to establish the IACC has progressed rapidly since the top 100 world leaders signed the Declaration in June 2021. The III is poised to strengthen criminal law enforcement to punish and deter leaders who are corrupt and regularly violate human rights.
“Corruption is a major obstacle to building institutions of trust and a threat to social stability. The fight against corruption requires our commitments and our strong collective efforts,” said Prime Minister Aminata Touré, Prime Minister of Senegal (2013-2014) and member of the Club de Madrid.
The III also announced in April that a total of 32 Nobel laureates have now endorsed the IACC initiative.
“Integrity Initiatives International joins the legions of vulnerable victims of kleptocrats around the world in being deeply grateful to the many former prime ministers and presidents who recognize that an international anti-corruption tribunal is urgently needed and who are working vigorously to ‘make it happen,’ Wolf said.
On his part, HEDA Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju reiterated that HEDA will never give up supporting the birth of IACC as it will continue to engage like minds and concerned stakeholders in Nigeria to see the IACC to come true.
“We organized a conference just for the IACC in Abuja where people and companies from the private sector but especially from the public sector (through the MDAs) gave a nod. I believe the message has been passed on and people can see reason to support the IACC with all necessary resources.
“Corruption and impunity are becoming unseemly in Nigeria even as the economic situation worsens. But we will continue the campaign, we will never give up, because corrupt practices have done (in my own words) ‘irreparable damage’ in all spheres of our national life,” he lamented.