2015 Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting — Closing Statement

On behalf of the United States, I would like to thank you Ambassador Milinković and the Serbian Chairmanship, Dr. Yigitgüden, and the Office of the Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities for hosting this Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting (EEDIM). We also thank our expert panelists and OSCE field officers for their participation and important contributions to this meeting. We appreciate your efforts.

During this week’s EEDIM, we learned the importance of establishing and implementing anti-corruption legislation and policies, developing measures to improve transparency and accountability, and empowering anti-corruption bodies and civil society. Panelists provided helpful insight and practical perspectives from the front-lines of the fight against corruption and highlighted crucial elements, among them an independent judiciary. A number of speakers also reminded us that there is no single approach that will work in all countries.

As we have learned from our own experience in the United States, fighting the scourge of corruption is a complex endeavor. Starting with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1977 – the first effort to impose criminal penalties on companies that bribe foreign officials – the United States continues to be a leader in bringing international attention to the problem of anti-corruption and taking action to fight it. We encourage the development of effective and accountable institutions and processes, an ongoing process that requires political will to succeed.

Within the OSCE, participating States have made a number of important commitments on anti-corruption. We agree with statements made by several delegations during this week’s EEDIM that the 2012 Dublin Declaration on Strengthening Good Governance and Combating Corruption, Money Laundering, and the Financing of Terrorism was a landmark decision for the OSCE. We fully support its comprehensive approach to combating corruption on both the prevention and enforcement fronts, and encourage participating States and the OSCE Secretariat to regularly revisit commitments made under the Declaration.

As U.S. Permanent Representative Ambassador Baer emphasized in his opening statement, the United States would like to see a more robust, fully integrated review of participating States’ implementation of the Dublin Declaration on a regular basis. The review could be incorporated into annual EEDIM meetings, providing an opportunity to share both successes and lessons learned.

Finally, we welcome plans by our German colleagues to maintain our focus on good governance and build upon previous commitments under their Chairmanship next year. Their efforts will help us maintain the momentum created by the Serbian Chairmanship this year and the preceding Swiss Chairmanship. By keeping the spotlight on this important issue, the OSCE’s work can help improve anti-corruption policies, exchange best practices, and strengthen cooperation. We also welcome the incoming German Chairmanship’s commitment to strengthen the Second Dimension. This is important work and you have our full support.

In closing, we again thank the Serbian Chairmanship and the OSCE Coordinator for Economic and Environmental Activities for their dedication and commitment to organizing this annual EEDIM.

Thank you, Madame Chair.

As delivered by Darren Perdue, Political Officer to the Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting