Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wake-Up Call to Corrupt Leaders Issued

This is how Transparency International has characterised the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) initiative launched by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Bank (WB) two days before Samad's post on corruption. The aim of this program is to help developing nations recover funds looted by their leaders and usually stashed away in an account in the west. Estimates of the annual fraud range as high as USD40 billion and that's before factoring in the attendant degradation of public institutions. The 56-page joint report which makes good reading includes three case studies: Nigeria, the Phillipines and Peru.

This initiative comes 12 years after the famous Cancer of Corruption speech of Jim Wolfensohn at the annual meetings of the WB. And isn't it wonderful that we have someone attending the 2008 edition of these meetings in the week-end in Washington? Here is one great opportunity to look at Zoellick straight in the eyes and to announce that Mauritius intends to be the poster child for StAR.


sanjivP said...

It seems that we should be proud of our leaders!
Please refer to the following article in the economist of today and you will find out why:

But that is Not the whole story, since, as the french adage goes "dans le royaume des aveugles, le borgne est roi".

The caveat is that our leader has gone to Singapour, albeit not exactly for economic reasons in these financial fiery days, but for cultural activities...

So, looking towards the East, but comparing us to our immediate West is like always settling for one rank above the last; at least we are better than the worst, but probabilistically in their ranks.

Samad Ramoly said...

Dodoland cruises with drivers focusing on the rearview mirror while relishing the prospect of outperforming the likes of Chad and Haiti!

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Singapore's PM reminded Ramgoolam that it was only his second visit after 1997 to which our PM replied that he had lost elections in between. That begs the question as to why he waited two years in his first mandate before going to Singapore and three and a quarter years before going back in the current second. More pathetic are the two main reasons our PM is visiting the city-state: the first one is to meet with the Land Authority essentially to get some ideas as to how to fix our traffic problems (which speaks volume on the ability of those cling-ons in the Labour think-tank to actually solve anything besides their career plans) and the second one to visit that water recycling plant (we don't have the same acute water problems as Singapore which has 4.6 million people and a land area 2 1/2 smaller than ours -- most of our water problems would be solved if we built another reservoir).