Wednesday, December 7

PM Urges G7 To Tackle Cancer of Corruption



The bribery scandal in FIFA should spur the international community to target the “cancer” of corruption around the globe, David Cameron will tell world leaders at a G7 summit this weekend.

At talks in Bavaria, the Prime Minister will call for an international effort to root out corruption, claiming it is holding back economic growth and human development all over the world.

Ahead of the G7, Mr Cameron said: “In the last fortnight we have seen the stark truth about FIFA. The body governing football has faced appalling allegations that suggests it is absolutely riddled with corruption.

“And (Sepp) Blatter’s resignation this week presents an opportunity to clean up the game we love. It is also an opportunity to learn a broader lesson about tackling corruption.

“Just as with FIFA, we know the problem is there, but there is something of an international taboo over pointing the finger and stirring up concerns. At international summits, leaders meet to talk about aid, economic growth and how to keep our people safe. But we just don’t talk enough about corruption.

“This has got to change. We have to show some of the same courage that exposed FIFA and break the taboo on talking about corruption.”

“Corruption is the cancer at the heart of so many of the problems we face around the world today,” Mr Cameron said, adding that corruption “doesn’t just threaten our prosperity, it also undermines our security.” 

“Football is beginning a long journey to rid itself of corruption and it will take time, courage and determination to see through the reforms that FIFA needs. I believe world leaders must show the same courage and determination to tackle corruption around the globe. That will be my mission tomorrow at the G7 and in the months and years ahead.”

Mr Cameron will join US President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, Italian PM Matteo Renzi, Canadian PM Stephen Harper and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe for the two-day gathering, hosted at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Mrs Merkel has put climate change and sustainable development at the top of the agenda for the annual summit of the world’s leading industrialised economies beginning on Sunday, which will also focus on growth, security and the threat from terrorism and disease epidemics.

But Mr Cameron will argue that the issue of corruption – which he put at the heart of the UK’s agenda for its presidency of the body in 2013 – has a bearing on all these areas and must be discussed openly as part of the debate.

He will cite World Bank estimates that corruption adds 10% to business costs worldwide, with $1tn (£650bn) paid in bribes every year.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) believes corruption costs around 5% of global GDP annually, while in developing countries it can add 25% to the cost of procurement, Mr Cameron will say.

Seven of the 10 most corrupt countries in sub-Saharan Africa are also in the bottom 10 on the human development index and infant mortality is twice as high in countries with the most corruption as in those with the least.

Mr Cameron will say that there is an onus on world leaders to do what they can to tackle the issue, and will call for action in the coming months to focus the efforts of the various international organisations tasked with combating corruption and ensure that they are working effectively with one another.

Anti-corruption measures should be at the heart of the new United Nations development goals for the coming 15 years due to be agreed in September, he will say.

Demonstrations over climate change, wealth inequality and the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) US/EU free trade deal are expected outside the heavily guarded G7 venue, with a protest camp set up in the nearby town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and around 35,000 attending a pre-summit rally in Munich on Thursday.