April 7, 2006
THE NAIROBI DECLARATION ON INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS AND ON THE RECOVERY AND REPATRIATION OF AFRICA'S STOLEN WEALTH
WE, THE REPRESENTATIVES OF TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL IN 7 AFRICAN COUNTRIES, MEETING IN NAIROBI, KENYA, ON 6-7 APRIL 2006,
Affirming the fundamental human right to development of all African peoples;
Aware of the negative role that corruption has played in undermining Africa's fragile democracies and hindering her people's efforts to attain sustainable development;
Noting the emergence of recent international instruments such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention for the Combating of and Prevention of Corruption; and other interventions aimed at creating a just global socio- economic order, including global debt cancellation campaigns, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative;
Noting that despite some asset recovery successes several African countries are experiencing difficulties in obtaining appropriate mutual legal assistance in their endeavor to trace, seize, recover and repatriate assets and monies illegally appropriated and transferred abroad by their nationals and other collaborators;
Aware that well over US$ 140 billion has over the decades been illegally and corruptly appropriated from Africa, by politicians, soldiers, businesspersons and other leaders, and kept abroad in form of cash, stocks and bonds, real estate and other assets;
Observing the commitments made by the G8 and other commissions on Africa;
Persuaded that, with the co-operation of all relevant actors, Africa's stolen wealth is identifiable, traceable and potentially recoverable;
Recalling the Nyanga Declaration of March 2001 by 11 Transparency International African Chapters.
1. That it is imperative that African governments engender and demonstrate the political will to fight corruption in a meaningful way.
2. That corruption remains one of the primary hindrances to development in Africa. Thus, for as long as governments continue to pay mere lip service to anti-corruption reform, such development and, particularly, the eradication of poverty as elaborated by the Millennium Development Goals will remain unattainable.
3. That African governments and the international community should as a matter of priority, ensure the RATIFICATION, DOMESTICATION and IMPLEMENTATION of the provisions of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, the African Union Convention on the Combating and Prevention of Corruption, and the OECD Convention Against the Bribery of Foreign Public Officials.
4. That it is not only illegal but BLATANTLY IMMORAL that so much wealth stolen from Africa is allowed to circulate freely in the economies of some of the world's wealthiest nations in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and diverse offshore havens.
5. That while the call for the cancellation of African debt is noble and deserving of full support, it is inherently inconsistent to call for the cancellation of Africa's debts while much of the money originally lent, is ODIOUS, and remains illegally invested or banked in privately held accounts abroad.
6. That it is unconscionable that individuals and corporations who are nationals of the OECD and the G 8 are enjoying measures of IMPUNITY despite their corrupt practices in Africa.
7. That African governments and the international community should, as a matter of priority, expedite the tracing, recovery and repatriation of wealth stolen from African countries and transferred abroad, including sealing of all known loopholes, and requiring international cooperation from non-State actors such as corporations and financial institutions where there is reasonable cause to suspect illegal activity, and mandatory liquidation and repatriation of assets known to have been corruptly acquired.
8. That all international initiatives aimed at the promulgation of a more just global socio-economic order, including campaigns for debt cancellation, should include an explicit focus on recovering and repatriating assets stolen from developing countries as a necessary condition to the realization of a more just and fair global community.
9. That all countries should tighten their banking laws to ensure that moneys illicitly appropriated from African treasuries are not granted safe havens in banks or non-bank financial institutions operating in those countries.
10. That African representatives of Transparency International will lobby their governments for legislative reform to seal all known loopholes that allow the illegal appropriation of public money from their treasuries and to punish the culprits, as well as to create frameworks for receiving recovered and repatriated moneys.
11. That TI African National Chapters meeting in Nairobi express their solidarity with anti-corruption activists and National Chapters that operate in difficult circumstances wherever they are.
Adopted at Nairobi Kenya, this 7th day of April 2006.
Audrey Gadzekpo, Ghana
Ahmed Abdalla, Kenya
Maman Wada, Niger
Mouhamadou Mbodj, Sénégal
George Egaddu, Uganda
Rueben Lifuka, Zambia
Goodwill Shana, Zimbabwe
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