BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Integrity Initiatives International announced today that more than one hundred world leaders from over forty countries have signed a Declaration calling for the creation of an International Anti-Corruption Court. The Declaration advocates for a new international court to address the global problem of Grand Corruption – the abuse of public office for private gain by a nation’s leaders (kleptocrats) – which thrives in many countries and has devastating consequences for human rights, human health, and international peace and security. Signatories to the Declaration include:
- former President of Colombia and Nobel Laureate Juan Manuel Santos
- former President of Tunisia Moncef Marzouki
- former Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt
- Nobel Laureate and former Judge Shirin Ebadi of Iran
- former Foreign Minister of Canada Lloyd Axworthy
- former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Peter MacKay
- former UN High Commissioners for Human Rights Navi Pillay and Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein
- former Judge Claudia Escobar Mejía of Guatemala
- President of the International Bar Association Sternford Moyo
- Chair of the Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger
The Declaration and its full list of signatories can be found here.
“Kleptocracy and impunity for crimes of Grand Corruption are an enduring and a growing evil in many countries. The victims are invariably the poor and powerless from whom vast sums are, in effect, are stolen. An International Anti-Corruption Court is urgently needed to prosecute, punish and deter kleptocrats, and to recover, repurpose and repatriate vitally needed illicit funds,” said Justice Richard Goldstone of South Africa, the first Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and a board member of Integrity Initiatives International.
Corruption, particularly Grand Corruption, is increasingly recognized as a major international problem. On June 3, President Joe Biden issued a Memorandum establishing the fight against corruption as a core U.S. national security interest. He stated: “Corruption erodes public trust; hobbles effective governance; distorts equitable markets; undercuts development efforts; contributes to national fragility, extremism, and migration; and provides authoritarian leaders a means to undermine democracy worldwide.” On June 2, the G7 Foreign Ministers stated that they “recognize that corruption is a pressing global challenge” that they will address at their next ministerial meeting in September, 2021.
Kleptocracy does not flourish because of a lack of laws, but because kleptocrats control the administration of justice in the countries they rule. “As Grand Corruption has global consequences and often cannot be combatted by the countries most immediately victimized by kleptocrats,” the signatories to the Declaration assert that, “a new international institution – an International Anti-Corruption Court – is necessary and justified.”
“The Declaration is a strong statement from world leaders that an international forum to hold kleptocrats accountable is needed now more than ever to end impunity for Grand Corruption. Its signatories signal the emergence of a coalition catalyzed by Integrity Initiatives International that will campaign throughout the world for the creation of the International Anti-Corruption Court,” said U.S. District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf, the Chair of Integrity Initiatives International, an NGO whose mission is to strengthen the enforcement of criminal laws against kleptocrats.