The Netherlands, Canada and Ecuador on Monday backed calls for the creation of a global anti-corruption tribunal, saying it would help deal with “thieves” in government heads.
The foreign ministers of the three countries have backed a campaign for an anti-corruption court, which backers say will operate on similar lines to the International Criminal Court (ICC) based in The Hague.
“The Netherlands, Canada and Ecuador share the vision that this could eventually lead to the establishment of an international anti-corruption court,” Dutch Foreign Minister Wobke Hekstra said after the meeting in The Hague.
“Such a court would provide the international community with additional tools to enforce existing anti-corruption laws,” Hoekstra tweeted.
According to United Nations statistics, around $2 trillion in procurement spending is lost to corruption worldwide each year.
U.S. Senior Judge Mark Wolfe, who is leading the campaign, said the court would “focus on the highest-level officials and those they take bribes from.”
“The culture of ending corruption starts from the top down,” he told a panel of ministers bystanders.
About 189 political parties in 181 countries have signed the United Nations Anti-Corruption Convention, which aims to stop corruption around the world.
“But thieves enjoy impunity because they control the judicial administration of the countries they rule,” Wolff said.
“This courtroom could become a place where a very brave whistleblower could… give evidence, for example.”
But supporters of the court acknowledged that it still has a long way to go before it becomes a reality.
They agreed to face similar challenges to the ICC, which was set up in 2002 to prosecute individuals for war crimes.
For example, the ICC does not have the capacity to arrest suspects and relies on its member states with mixed success.
“We want to look at what’s working, what’s not, and what the next steps are,” says Integrity Initiatives International, the NGO behind the transplant court push. Maja Groff, a senior treaty adviser to the United States, told the panel.
The Dutch city of The Hague already houses a number of international courts, including the ICC and the International Court of Justice, which deals with disputes between member states of the United Nations.
https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/countries-call-for-world-anti-corruption-court-424535/ Countries Call for Global Anti-Corruption Court