This section provides readers with the latest news regarding anti-corruption issues worldwide.

African leaders vote themselves immunity from new human rights court

Leaders at an African summit have voted to give themselves and their allies immunity from prosecution for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide at a new African Court of Justice and Human Rights. The decision comes as the continent confronts human rights violations and has two sitting presidents and one ousted president facing charges at the International Criminal Court. [field_txt_news_link]

Iran underlines need for greater judicial transparency

Iran President Hassan Rouhani identified "corruption" as the key obstacle to attracting private investments and underlined the significance of the judicial system in combating corruption. He said penalties alone will not solve the corruption issue, and that the root causes would have to be tackled. According to Rouhani, the use of e-government systems could reduce corruption, as could “transparency in laws and in judicial sentences” and the feeling of “security.” [field_txt_news_link]

Congress Quietly Deletes a Key Disclosure of Free Trips Lawmakers Take

It's going to be a little more difficult to ferret out which members of Congress are lavished with all-expenses-paid trips around the world after the House has quietly stripped away the requirement that such privately sponsored travel be included on lawmakers' annual financial-disclosure forms. [field_txt_news_link]

IACA Newsletter 2014-2

Latest news from the International Anti-Corruption Academy. [field_txt_news_link]

Bhutan launches new national anti-corruption strategy, e-learning course on ethics & integrity

An e-Learning course on Ethics and Integrity Management for justices, associate professionals, and parliamentarians was launched on 21 June 2014 at the Royal Institute of Management. The e-learning course continues the programme launched for civil servants in December 2011. It aims to create wider appreciation for the need to promote ethics and integrity in government.   [field_txt_news_link]

Blog: World Bank Posts Six Years of Enforcement Statistics

More than 200 firms and individuals have been debarred or otherwise sanctioned by the World Bank over misconduct tied to bank-financed projects in recent years, a new report said. The report was the broadest in scope that the institution has done on the topic of suspension and debarment. Only 14% of the related settlements and cases involved corruption, while 86% involved fraud, according to the report, which looked at enforcement between fiscal years 2008 and 2013. [field_txt_news_link]

The Unrecognized Threat to International Security

Systemic corruption has an unrecognized bearing on international security. Policymakers and private companies often pay insufficient attention to corruption when deciding what foreign and defense policies to pursue or where to invest. Greater understanding of the nature of acute corruption and its impact on global security would contribute to a better assessment of costs and benefits and therefore to improved policy and practice [field_txt_news_link]

African Countries Show Mixed Results in Quality of Government Performance

The latest World Bank review of government policies and institutions in Africa shows that 20 percent of countries improved their policy environment to boost growth and cut poverty in 2013. The review is the annual Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA), which rates the performance of poor countries. CPIA scores assess the quality of countries' policy and institutional progress using 16 development indicators in four areas: economic management, structural policies, policies for social inclusion and equity, and public sector management and institutions. [field_txt_news_link]

World Bank publishes data & lessons learned on all Debarment Cases since 2007

The World Bank has released the first public report from its Office of Suspension and Debarment furthering its commitment to transparency and accountability regarding its process for firms and individuals accused of fraud and corruption in the projects it finances. Previously, reports have been issued by the World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency, which carries out investigations, as well as by the World Bank Group Sanctions Board. [field_txt_news_link]

Corruption will abet poverty in South Asia

Transparency International (TI) recently released a report on rising corruption in Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. TI examined nearly 70 key institutions vulnerable to corruption across the six countries -- which, together, scored worst on corruption indicators among all other world sub-regions in TI's 2013 Global Corruption Perceptions Index. Government failure to target corruption effectively threatens regional economic progress, and obstructs equitable sharing of economic gains. [field_txt_news_link]