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April 27, 2013

Ulaanbaatar Meeting


 

The Parliamentary Forum for Democracy was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia April 27-28 2013 as one of the pillars of 7thMinisterial of Community of Democracies. It brought together over 50 delegates and observers from 15 countries, to deliberate under the theme of Parliaments against Corruption. The Forum was organized with three main plenaries, each capturing fundamental themes for combatting corruption, with keynote speeches from esteemed parliamentarians and experts, followed by constructive Q&A and discussion sessions.

The Forum was opened by messages stressing the importance of the topic Parliaments against Corruption, and how it relates to the overarching mission of PFD to further strengthen democracy through will of parliamentarians around the world. Mr. Enkhbold Zandaakhuu, Chairman of the State Great Hural in his speech acknowledged the importance Mongolia has placed on further strengthening parliamentary democracy, and parliamentarians’ role and leadership in fight against corruption while stressing the initiatives Mongolia has made in order to create legal, political, and social atmosphere of zero-tolerance for corruption. Mr. Emanuelis Zingeris, President of the PFD highlighted the progress since the Vilnius Declaration in May 2012, and applauded Mongolia for its efforts in consolidating democracy through concrete measures and objectives. Mr. Zingeris’s called for new tools for evolving realities in the fight against corruption

The first Plenary, “Parliaments combatting corruption,” concentrated on how parliamentarians, as direct representatives of the people, can lead the fight to eradicate corruption. MP Budiman from Indonesia rightly noted that corruption issue in the parliament level should be looked from the very beginning – political party and political campaign funding. Having necessary laws, mechanisms, and institutions is important, but not sufficient to fully address the issue of corruption. Dr. Srirak Plipat from Transparency International proposed that a whole “paradigm shift” was needed, where anti-corruption efforts should be outcome-oriented and should be centered on “mission” rather than “mandate.” During the discussion period, Mr. Lyonpo Dago Tshering from Bhutan pointed out “prevention is better than the cure,” and in order to achieve that, raising awareness and responsibility through effective education tools is crucial. Importance of budget transparency in preventing conflict of interest, and application of modern tools to educate people on participation in budget decisions was duly noted by the Delegate from Timor Leste.

The second Plenary, held on “Ethics and Oversight” consisted of keynote speeches on international practice regarding parliamentary ethics oversight body, its roles and functions, code of ethics for parliamentarians, as well as enforcement and oversight mechanisms. Issue of human rights and keeping the essence and core values of democracy, all through this lengthy battle was noted by several delegates. Moreover, importance was given to individual parliament level ethics bodies, rules, and norms, but also on international cooperation, where parliamentarians can learn from each other, and share best practices. MP Abdel Aziz Al Taher Hrieba from Libya stressed the importance of such cooperation, especially for young and emerging democracies, as such exchange and support among parliamentarians is one of the most effective means of strengthening parliaments and democracy.

The issue of international cooperation and capacity building was deliberated in the 3rd Plenary. It was derived from the keynote speeches that cooperation and coordination among all stakeholders, employing an integrated approach to fight corruption and advance overall conduct and ethics within the parliament. Fighting corruption, in the first place requires a political will, and as eloquently put by Mr. Kreutner from the International Anti Corruption Academy, “tone from the top” attitude is a must to foster zero-tolerance for corruption from political level to the whole of society. Mr. Batbold Sukhbaatar, Member of the State Great Hural, stressed the importance of professional and merit-based public service as the basis for capacity building for parliaments and other institutions alike. He also proposed a peer-review mechanism to be employed among parliaments within the PFD, as an effective mean to tackle challenges facing parliamentary democracy and parliamentarians in fulfilling their role more effectively and responsibly.

 

 

Program

 

27 April, Saturday

08.30-09.15

Registration at the hotel

09.15-09.30

Buses depart from the hotels to the Government House

09.30-10.30

Joint Session of CD Pillars
Venue: Grand Hall of the Government House

10.30-11.00

Family photo

11.15-11.40

Opening plenary of PFD at Hall “B” of the Government House
Chair: Mr. Emanuelis Zingeris, President of Parliamentary Forum for Democracy (PFD)
Keynote speech: H.E. Mr. Enkhbold Zandaahuu, Chairman of the State Great Hural of Mongolia
Statement by Ms. Anna-Maja Hendriksson, Minister of Justice of Finland

11:40-13:00

Plenary 1: Parliaments combatting corruption (preceded by brief organizational issues)
Chair: Mr. Amarjargal Rinchinnyam, Vice-President of PFD, Mongolia
Contributors: Dr. Srirak Plipat (Transparency International), Mr. Budiman Sudjatmiko (Indonesia/GOPAC), Mr. Enkhbold Nyamaa (Mongolia), Ms. Oyun Sanjaasuren (Mongolia) and some other participants, followed by questions and answers, and discussion

13.10-14.00

Luncheon hosted by H.E. Mr. Enkhbold Zandaahuu at the 4th floor of the Government House
Introduction of Mr. Enkhbold Zandaahuu by Ms. Batchimeg Migeddorj (Mongolia)
Statement by Mr. Enkhbold Zandaahuu

14.00-15.10

Plenary 2: Ethics and Oversight
Chair: Mr. Matteo Mecacci (Italy)
Contributors: Ms. Adrian Gonzales (Mexico), Ms. Batchimeg Migeddorj (Mongolia), Ms. Uyanga Gantumuriin (Mongolia) and some other participants, followed by questions and answers, and discussion

15.10-15.30

Coffee/tea break

15.30-16.30

Plenary 3: Capacity building and future cooperation
Chair: Mr. Enkhbold Nyamaa
Contributors: Mr. Martin Kreutner (IACA), Mr. Batbold Sukhbaatar (former Prime Minister of Mongolia and Vice-President of Socialist International), Ms. Mairamkul Tilenchiv (Kyrgyzstan – tbc), and some other participants, followed by questions and answers, and discussion

16:35-18:10

Meeting of the Governing council of PFD
Venue: Soyombo hall, Government house

 

16:35-18:10

Return to hotels and rest (not members of Governing council of PFD)

around 18:10

Take buses to attend the reception hosted by H.E. Mr. E. Bat-Uul

19.30-20.30

Reception hosted by H.E. Mr. E. Bat-Uul, Governor and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar City

Venue: Ulaanbaatar Hotel

20:30

Buses depart from Ulaanbaatar hotel to Ulaanbaatar Hotel

20:30

Rest, free time

28 April, Sunday

08.30-09.00

Buses depart from the hotels

09:00-10:00

Closing plenary
Chair: Mr. Emanuelis Zingeris

·         Report of the Rapporteur of the Forum

·         Consideration and adoption of one page report/recommendation to the VII Ministerial conference

·         Wrap-up remarks and closing of the Forum

Venue: Hall “B’ of the Government house10:30-10:50

Joint press conference

·         H.E. Mr. Enkhkbold Zandaahuu, Mr. Emanuelis Zingeris and Ms. Batchimeg Migeddorj

Venue: press conference hall near Hall “B”

11.00-12.30

Plenary Session: Harnessing Open Governance for Democracy

·         Chair, Panelists (Ministers, CSO Representatives)

12.45-14.00Lunch (4th floor of the Government House)14.00-15.30

Plenary Session: SUPPORTING DEMOCRATIC TRANSITIONS: Lessons from the LEND Network and the Democracy Partnership Challenge

·         Chair, Panelists (Ministers, CSO Representatives)

15.30-17.00

Plenary session: Women and Democracy

·         Chair, Panelists (Ministers, CSO Representatives)

17.00-18.30Visit to the Natural History Museum /optional, by walk/18.30-19.00Buses depart from the hotels or from Natural History Museum to Chinggis Khan Hotel19.00-20.30

Reception hosted by H.E. Mr. N.AItankhuyag, Prime Minister of Mongolia


Venue: Chinggis Khan Hotel

20.30-21.00Buses depart from Chinggis Khan Hotel to Bayangol Hotel29 April, Monday07.00-07.45Buses depart from Bayangol Hotel to State House07.50-08.00

Group Photo for Heads of Delegations

Location: In front of Chinggis Khaan Monument

08.00-10.00

Opening Plenary Session of VII Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies


Venue: Grand Hall, State House

·         Statements of Select Dignitaries

·         Reports from Fora

·         Video Message from World Youth Representatives

10.00-11.30

Joint Session of CD Pillars and Ministers (Plenary): Threats against Civil Society and Freedom of Expression

·         Chair, Panelists (Ministers, Representatives of Pillars)

11.30-12.45

Thematic Meetings (parallel sessions)

Democracy Education

Corruption and Other Threats to Democracy

Arab Spring after 2 Years: Lessons and Challenges Democracy and MDGs

Democracy and MDGs

Online and Press Freedom

·         Moderator, Panelists (Ministers, CSO Representatives)

12.50-13.50

Lunch

 

Venue: for those participating in the for a held in halls “A” and “B” – at the 4th floor of the Government house, those participating in the thematic session on Arab spring after 2 years: lessons and challenges – at Nomin hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the participants of the thematic sessions held at the Blue Sky hotel – at that hotel

12.50-14.30

Rest and leisure

14.30-14. 50

Courtesy Call of Ministers (only) on the President of Mongoli

15.00-15.50

Closing Session

·         High Level Addresses
Ulaanbaatar Ministerial Declaration
Geremek Award
Palmer Prize
Official Handover of Chairmanship

15.50-16.05

Press Conference

15.50-16.05

Delegations take their places at the concert hall

15.50-16.05

Concert

Venue: Cultural Centre of Mongolia

16.10-17.30

Reception hosted by H.E. Mr. Ts. Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia
Venue: Sky Resort

 

 

* * *

VII MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE OF THE COMMUNITY OF DEMOCRACIES

Ulaanbaatar, 27-29 April 2013

 

PARLIAMENTARY FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY RESOLUTION

 

We, the participants of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy, held in preparation to the VII Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies to be held in Ulaanbaatar on 29 April 2013 have considered the fight against corruption as an essential effort to strengthen democracy and democratic institution.

 

We recognize the efforts made by Mongolia to promote democracy, human rights, and tackle corruption.   

We welcome the progress made in combating corruption in several member countries in recent years, including Georgia and Moldova.

We express appreciation and note the importance and timeliness of focusing our discussions on the issue of corruption.

We believe that citizens of democracies have high expectations from its leaders and governments, especially in fighting corruption.

We take note that:

1) Corruption is a complex, multi-layered problem, that results from weaknesses and deficiencies in laws, regulations, monitoring enforcement, deterrence, institutions and co-ordination;

2) Corruption weakens the capacity of the state to act on behalf of all its citizens due to a loss in revenue and the creation of a distorted economy;

3) Corruption corrodes public confidence in state institutions, its elected representatives and officials of the state;

4) Corruption is the antithesis of democracy and democratic values, based on a belief in the equality of opportunity for all.

We call upon the governments of the Community of Democracies to address corruption through:

• Steadfast political will; the “tone from the top”;

• Coordinated and integrated work in all sectors of society;

• Developing legislation;

• Oversight and monitoring; and

• Representation.

Taking note that these traditional functions are insufficient to meet the new realities of today, the following clear approaches have been identified.

The Parliamentary Forum for Democracy calls upon its governments to support:

1.                  Anti-corruption paradigm shift: the current approach of parliaments can be called the mandate approach. This should shift to a mission approach in which more emphasis is placed on the outcomes and results of anti-corruption efforts rather than focusing primarily on the laws and institutions that address anti-corruption by developing strategies to reduce corruption. This will require strong coordination between parliaments and ministries.

2.                  Coalition strengthening: to address corruption at the international level, several networks and organizations have developed working relationships. Within parliaments, local chapters of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) have been established. GOPAC links parliamentarians in a way that allows them to share best practices. Governments may benefit from the cooperation with the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) through capacity-building of parliamentarians and developing more effective ways to combat corruption. The Transparency International’s research techniques and methodologies to quantify corruption would also be useful. The Parliamentary Forum for Democracy needs to develop stronger relations with such organizations and networks with the aim of increasing knowledge sharing and capacity-building. Increased ties will allow the Parliamentary Forum to support parliaments that are looking to strengthen their own anti-corruption efforts through the identification of lessons learned and the best practices.

3.                  Peer review: coalition-building and strengthening will bring a range of players to support anti-corruption initiatives. However, parliamentarians should be encouraged and supported to develop through peer-to-peer review their own standards for measuring and monitoring anti-corruption efforts in other states. Peer-to-peer efforts allows for informal comment and constructive advice on how to improve anti-corruption efforts.   

4.                  Access to information: free and public access to information is critical to support efforts to combat corruption. Access to information allows citizens to monitor all aspects of government income and expenditure, making it more difficult for funds to be misappropriated without detection.  The Parliamentary Forum for Democracy calls upon its governments to ensure legislation enabling its citizens unobstructed access to information.

5.                  End secrecy clauses: misappropriation of funds can be protected by secrecy clauses in government-private sector contracts. Such secrecy clauses should be forbidden as they block freedom and transparency, and citizen monitoring, in government dealings.

We express gratitude to the State Great Hural of Mongolia for the generous hospitality and for the successful hosting of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy.

SPEECHES FROM THE MEETING

 

 

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