Press Release
January 29, 2013

12 heads of parliament to attend GOPAC conference

Twelve heads of parliament will be in Manila to attend the 5th Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) conference, which is slated to be held at the Philippine International Convention Center from January 30, 2013 to February 2, 2013.

Heads of parliament represented by Sen. Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang, Senate president of Malaysia; Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh, Speaker of the Consultative Council of Saudi Arabia; Vicente da Silva Guterres, president of the National Parliament of Timor Leste; Ahmed Fahmi Nab, chairman of the Shura Assembly of Egypt; Haroun Kabadi, Speaker of the National Assembly of Chad; Rose Francine Rogombe, Senate president of Gabon; Kenneth Marende, Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya; Abdulla Shahid, Speaker of the Parliament of Maldives; Karim Ghellab, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Morocco; Asser Kuveri Kapere, chairman of the National Council of Namibia and Dr. Margaret Nasha, Speaker of the National Assembly of Botswana, are expected to participate in a series of discussions that will tackle the role of good governance in the fight against corruption.

"GOPAC Manila 2013 is the best venue for us to assess whether the anti-corruption initiatives we have agreed on in Mexico have been effective in so far as anti-money laundering, parliamentary oversight and ethics are concerned," Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Vice Chairman of the GOPAC Executive Committee and the Charter President of the Southeast Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC), said.

"This is our chance to showcase the gains our government has achieved in the fight against corruption, starting with the three branches of government. We hope to be able to help parliaments struggling with graft and corruption by updating delegates of the steps we have taken, the laws we have crafted and started to implement," Angara added.

A joint initiative of the Senate of the Philippines, GOPAC, the South East Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption, and the GOPAC National Chapter in the Philippines, the conference, touted to be the first of its kind in South East Asia, aims to encourage parliaments all over the world to take a leadership role in promoting good governance by crafting tougher laws to combat graft and corruption.

Topics to be discussed during the four day event include, among others, anti-money laundering and bank secrecy laws, the right to information and civil society participation, and the role of good audit in the fight against corruption.

GOPAC is a biennial event that brings together GOPAC members, prospective members, stakeholders and funding agencies dedicated to the fight against corruption. It is designed to inspire, educate and equip GOPAC Chapters and its individual members in the ongoing fight against corruption. It provides an opportunity for parliamentarians from around the world to discuss their shared experiences in the fight against corruption and establish strong networks for the road ahead.

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