Statement by President Bush on Anti-Corruption Strategy

Press Statement
Office of the Press Secretary
The White House, Washington, DC
August 10, 2006

“For too long, the culture of corruption has undercut development and good governance and bred criminality and mistrust around the world. High-level corruption by senior government officials, or kleptocracy, is a grave and corrosive abuse of power and represents the most invidious type of public corruption. It impedes our efforts to promote freedom and democracy, end poverty, and combat international crime and terrorism. Kleptocracy is an obstacle to democratic progress, undermines faith in government institutions, and steals prosperity from the people. Promoting transparent, accountable governance is a critical component of our freedom agenda.

“At this year’s G-8 meeting in St Petersburg, my colleagues joined me in calling for strengthened international efforts to deny kleptocrats access to our financial systems and safe haven in our countries; stronger efforts to combat fraud, corruption, and misuse of public resources; and increased capacity internationally to prevent opportunities for high-level public corruption. Today, I am announcing a new element in my Administration’s plan to fight kleptocracy, The National Strategy to Internationalize Efforts Against Kleptocracy, which sets forth a framework to deter, prevent, and address high-level, public corruption. It identifies critical tools to detect and prosecute corrupt officials around the world, so that the promise of economic assistance and growth reaches the people.

“Our objective is to defeat high-level public corruption in all its forms and to deny corrupt officials access to the international financial system as a means of defrauding their people and hiding their ill-gotten gains. Given the nature of our open, accessible international financial system, our success in fighting kleptocracy will depend upon the participation and accountability of our partner nations, the international financial community, and regional and multilateral development institutions. Together, we can confront kleptocracy and help create the conditions necessary for people everywhere to enjoy the full benefits of honest, just, and accountable governance.”

Source: Statement by the President on Kleptocracy, www.whitehouse.gov, Aug 10, 2006

Additional Background

APCAC Position Paper – Eliminating Corruption, June 2006

Corruption is a fundamental concern for American businesses, and remains a significant and unfair barrier to trade and economic development in many countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It creates a negative investment climate, stifles economic activity, distorts prices and undermines national legal and judicial systems. Corruption harms not only the citizens of the countries where it exists, but also US and other foreign businesses operating in these countries. Corrupt practices contribute to the spread of organized crime and terrorism. Corruption is a major factor in reducing competitiveness in an increasingly globalized economy.

The Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) has strongly encouraged businesses, governments, international organizations and multilateral financial institutions to intensify their efforts to stem official corruption, to eliminate bribery in business transactions, to increase transparency and to promote good governance in general. Read more …

World Bank

In a major speech in Jakarta, Indonesia, on April 11, 2006, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz said, “We know that when governments don’t work, the development assistance we provide to governments doesn’t work either.”

In the speech, he announced a plan to enhance the Bank’s work on governance and anticorruption on several fronts. Read more …

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

The Asian Development Bank wants to remove the burden that corruption inflicts upon the economies of the region and the development process. One way that ADB does this is by ensuring its institutional integrity. ADB’s Anticorruption Policy requires all ADB-financed activity, including all ADB staff, adhere to the highest financial and ethical standards. Read more …

U.S. Strategy to Internationalize Efforts Against Kleptocracy

“High-level corruption by senior government officials, or kleptocracy, is a grave and corrosive abuse of power and represents the most invidious type of public corruption. It threatens our national interest and violates our values. It impedes our efforts to promote freedom and democracy, end poverty, and combat international crime and terrorism. Kleptocracy is an obstacle to democratic progress, undermines faith in government institutions, and steals prosperity from the people. Promoting transparent, accountable governance is a critical component of our freedom agenda.” —

Statement by the President on Kleptocracy, August 10, 2006

Fact Sheet, The White House, August 10, 2006

Statement by Undersecretary of State Josette Shiner and others, August 10, 2006

G8 Leaders’ Statement, St Petersburg, July 16, 2006

“High-level corruption by senior government officials, or kleptocracy, is a grave and corrosive abuse of power and represents the most invidious type of public corruption. We can confront kleptocracy and help create the conditions necessary for people everywhere to enjoy the full benefits of honest, just, and accountable governance.” “Read more …