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Helsinki Commission Chairman Introduces Anti-Corruption Measure at OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

PARIS – United States Helsinki Commission Chairman Sen. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO) sponsored a measure at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly today to combat corruption and international crime. Chairman Campbell introduced the measure during the tenth annual Parliamentary Assembly held in Paris this week. The anti-corruption resolution is co-sponsored by parliamentarians from over a dozen countries including Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Hungary, Romania and Canada.

“Widespread corruption endangers the stability and security of societies, undermines democracy and jeopardizes social, political and economic development,” Campbell said. “Corruption also facilitates criminal activities such as money laundering, trafficking in human beings, drugs and weapons. It hinders economic development, inflates the costs of doing business, and undermines the legitimacy of the government and public trust.”

“Corruption among government officials at any level in any country negatively affects the United States when businesses suffer losses at the hands of illicit actions by foreign leaders,” Campbell added. “It is incumbent upon parliamentarians from each of the OSCE’s 55 Member States to enact and implement legislation to combat corruption at every level.”

Chairman Campbell is leading a delegation of Members of the United States Congress to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a gathering of over 300 parliamentarians from throughout the 55-member OSCE region.

Through his resolution at the Assembly, Chairman Campbell encouraged his European counterparts to introduce legislation similar to the International Anti-Corruption Act of 2001 which he introduced in the United States Senate last month. Under the International Anti-Corruption Act of 2001, countries found to be hostile to American businesses would lose U.S. financial aid.

Chairman Campbell’s resolution urges the Member States of the OSCE to encourage the development of free and independent media. Campbell’s measure also calls on governments to promote financial disclosure by public officials, political parties, and candidates for public office.

Furthermore, the measure encourages national parliaments to ensure transparency and openness in the legislative process, including public access to debate and open committee hearings, to establish and enforce parliamentary rules of ethics, ensure effective oversight of government agencies and provide whistle-blower protection.

The United States Helsinki Commission by law monitors and encourages progress in implementing provisions of the Helsinki Accords. The Commission, created in 1976, is composed of nine Senators, nine Representatives and one official each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.

Through his anti-corruption resolution, Chairman Campbell is building upon his earlier work in the Parliamentary Assembly to focus attention on efforts to combat international crime and corruption.

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