Canada Marks International Anti-Corruption Day

(No. 377 - December 9, 2009 – 9:30 p.m. EST) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today marked International Anti-Corruption Day, which coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Corruption of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

“Today, on International Anti-Corruption Day, we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, an invaluable tool to combat international corruption,” said Minister Cannon. “Since ratifying the Convention, we have made significant progress in our efforts to eliminate bribery of foreign public officials. Given the complexity of investigating international business transactions, the RCMP has established two seven-person international anti-corruption units, based in Ottawa and Calgary.”

Ten years ago, some companies considered bribes and tax deductions for paying bribes to be a normal part of doing business. Today, in the 38 Convention signatory countries, the practice is illegal.

“The Convention creates a level playing field for Canadian businesses operating abroad and ensures they have full and fair access to opportunities around the world,” said Minister Day. “It provides greater certainty to the business climate so that our companies can create jobs at home and abroad.”

Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1999, states parties have sanctioned more than 150 individuals and companies for bribery and related offences. Currently there are approximately 250 other ongoing investigations of bribery allegations that could be covered by the Convention.

Building on the success of the Convention, the 38 parties agreed to a new Anti-Bribery Recommendation in November 2009. With new measures for combatting small facilitation payments, for protecting whistleblowers, and for improving lines of communication between public officials and law enforcement authorities, the Recommendation improves the ability to prevent, detect and prosecute foreign bribery.

For more information on International Anti-Corruption Day, visit the following RCMP and Export Development Canada websites: December 9th is International Anti‑Corruption Day: Your “NO” counts! and EDC Marks UN International Anti-Corruption Day.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade
and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-6186

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000