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Governance and Transparency

Volume 688: debated on Thursday 11 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether there are differences of emphasis between their official policies of good governance and transparency applied in Africa and those applied in the Middle East; if so, whether there can be any universal criteria on these issues; and, if not, whether they will revise their objectives accordingly. [HL1067]

The Government attach great importance to building universal standards of good governance and transparency in all parts of the world, including Africa and the Middle East. Most recently, this was demonstrated at the inaugural conference, which concluded in Amman on 14 December, of states parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)—the world's first global anti-corruption agreement.

The UK worked to achieve positive conference outcomes, including agreement on the way corrupt assets are handled. We also supported agreement on the need for development agencies to take full account in their programmes of the need to tackle corruption, and on the need to ensure effective international co-ordination of targeted technical assistance.

The UK will continue to engage strongly in international efforts on these issues and expects to field representatives on all the new UNCAC groups of experts which will be set up to work on asset recovery, mechanisms to review compliance, and technical assistance. We regard this work as applicable everywhere and it is not the intention of the Government to agree to regional or national variations in their objectives.