BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Integrity Initiatives International (III) announced today that 30 additional Nobel laureates have signed the Declaration calling for the creation of an International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC).
The Declaration, first released in June 2021 with the signatures of more than 100 world leaders from 45 countries, has now been signed by over 200 eminent persons from more than 60 countries. Since June 2021, working with international partners to establish the International Anti-Corruption Court has become official foreign policy in both Canada and the Netherlands.
Earlier this month, Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra asked his European Union counterparts to work with the Netherlands to establish the IACC. He said, “Corruption among public officials isn’t just a financial problem; it also undermines democracy and the rule of law in a country and exacerbates inequality among its people. And of course, it’s a form of criminality. Not only does the country itself suffer, but other countries’ interests are harmed too.”
Foreign Minister Hoeksta continued: “By establishing an anti-corruption court, the Netherlands aims to strengthen the international legal order. But to make this happen, we will need the support of many other countries.”
To obtain that support, the Netherlands, Canada, Ecuador, and other partners will hold a conference of ministers from many countries later this year on international efforts to tackle corruption, with particular focus on the International Anti-Corruption Court.
The Declaration advocates for a new international court to punish and deter grand corruption – the abuse of public power for private gain by a nation’s leaders (kleptocrats) – which thrives in many countries and has devastating consequences for climate change, human rights, human health, and international peace and security, as has been made tragically evident by the war in Ukraine. New signatories to the Declaration being announced today include:
- Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate from the U.S. and founding Coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
- José Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former President and former Prime Minister of Timor-Leste
- Leymah Roberta Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate from Liberia
- Tawakkol Karman, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate from Yemen
- Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate from Guatemala
- Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate from Bangladesh, founder of the Grameen Bank, and recipient of the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Declaration and full list of signatories can be found here.
The new signatories have voiced their support for the IACC because they recognize that the global community needs innovative tools to combat corruption.
“Tackling corruption is fundamental to bolstering democracy around the world. New international institutions are also critical elements of strengthening multilateralism and the rule of law which have been under attack in recent years,” said Jody Williams.
“I am impressed by the quality of world leaders who have expressed their support for this initiative, reflecting growing awareness of the extent to which corruption undermines human progress and democracy. I am confident that we can find the political will to make this happen,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, former Chief Economist at the World Economic Forum and current Executive Director of the Global Governance Forum. Lopez-Claros now serves as a Co-Chair of the newly formed International Coordinating Committee for the IACC campaign.
The Declaration in support of the IACC and the broader campaign for the IACC have been organized by Integrity Initiatives International (III), a non-profit with the mission of strengthening the enforcement of criminal laws against kleptocrats.
United States District Judge Mark L. Wolf, the Chair of III and a Co-Chair of the International Coordinating Committee for the IACC, stated that, “III has long focused on Vladimir Putin as epitomizing the kleptocrats who are the worst abusers of human rights yet enjoy impunity for their crimes in the countries that they rule. Tragically, as former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently wrote, ‘Every day Putin continues to hold power, the case for an International Anti- Corruption Court grows.’ If the IACC had been established years ago, it is more likely that Putin would now be in prison, rather than criminally killing Ukrainians.”