Stamping out Corruption
for Transparent Governance

6th Global Forum closes its 4-day run May 24-27, with prominent leaders attending

The 6th Global Forum on Participatory and Transparent Governance closed its four-day run May 24-27 with the adoption of the Seoul Declaration. The forum consisted of five plenary sessions where representatives of state and well-known experts in the main sectors of governance (government, business and civil society) delivered keynote speeches and introduced practical cases of reinventions.
Nine workshops were also held to provide an opportunity for the participants to acquire practical applications of government reinvention, featuring top policymakers and experts from distinguished institutions such as UNDESA, UNDP, World Bank, Transparency International, Harvard University, as well as local academics and research centers including KDI School, KIPA, KRILA and KAPA.
The Korean Session held on May 25 at the COEX auditorium was designed to share Korea? experiences as an example of government reinvention with other countries and to create participatory atmosphere for government reinvention.
The Ministerial Round Table on Innovation was a side event of the global forum offering additional opportunity for participants to share their experiences on innovation and present model cases.
Considering the limited time allocated to the participants at the plenary session, the Ministerial Round Table on Innovation served as an important venue for the participating ministers and senior officials from across the world to share their visions on government reinvention.
The Governors and Mayors Round Table, also a side event, provided a venue for heads of local governments from across the world to share their experience of innovation and seek mutual cooperation for regional developments and regional development strategy by sharing model cases of innovation and regional information from across the globe.
International Innovation Exhibition 2005 introduced the accomplishments of various countries and organizations to share benchmark applications aimed at enhancing public service and promoting e-governance and corporate transparency. The exhibitors also provided a useful venue for sharing ideas and experiences of governments, corporations and civic groups worldwide. Exhibitions were held along side the plenary sessions divided into four different sections, a Korean pavilion, a foreign pavilion, an Enterprise pavilion, and a NGO & Public Institution pavilion.
The Korean pavilion featured central and local governments that experiment with various initiatives to foster innovations in governance, such as implementing e-government applications. The foreign pavilion presented governments and organizations worldwide that have received outstanding achievements, such as governmental innovation cases in the e-governance, public administration, security service, environment, civil education and medical service areas with their organizational introduction.
Fifteen local and multi-national corporations with innovative IT-related technologies and management methods were introduced at the Enterprise Pavilion, whereas the NGO & Public Institution Pavilion presented NGOs and national corporations that promote participation and transparency.
The Seoul Declaration urged all the governments of member countries to become participatory governments in cooperation with business, labor, citizens and civil groups.
The official statement, adopted at the end of the Seoul meeting, suggested the governments who work in various areas to realize the participation of all major groups in achieving participatory governments including government innovation, and social integration, market economy and corporate governance structure, delegation of authority to local governments, and civil society, among others.
The declaration proposed to cut the poverty level in half by 2015 around the world by continuously pushing government reform and boost national capability and the quality of service to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.
The statement also recommended deregulation of economic measures for fair and free economic order, the need for improved corporate governance and raising ethical awareness on the part of multinational firms.
The declaration also recommended that increasing the effectiveness of local governments through cooperation among central and local governments and diversified social groups. It also urged the governments in each member country confirm civil organizations as partners, while those organizations will carry out self-reform.
Kim Ho-young, head of the government reform forum organizing committee, said the declaration expressed its welcome that many governments have opted to take up participatory governance as their governing ideals. He also said the statement also confirmed that the information and communication technology would be able to contribute to the development of e-government. Peter Eigen, chairman of Transparency International, in his conversation with Lee Yong-sup, senior Presidential secretary for reform management, said the past practice of the government leading innovation movement could no longer be upheld. The movement should have joint and wide understanding among major players in society under a new governance paradigm.
The senior Presidential secretary Lee countered that the forum was the first one to be held in Asia, which is due to consideration that government reform has been going well in Asia. Next month, the OEDC Asia Center for Government Reform will be launched. I believe that Korea would become a hub for government reform through the 6th global forum in Asia.
Chairman Eigen said the Korean government has been doing its best to move towards a transparent society taking voices of various social organizations in its cooperative effort with them. But it is also important that social organizations should secure transparency by themselves.
Civic groups should first check their governance before calling on social transparency. They would have hard time voicing sound assertions if they are entangled with commercial, political and religious interests. They also need to have transparent accounting. Senior secretary Lee said since the participatory government came into power, it has put a lot of its time and effort to prevent corruption and raise transparency. But Korean came in at 47th among 146 countries in CPI, which made some scholars to claim that Korea is not being dealt with fairly, expressing doubt about the fairness of the index.
The TI chairman replied that it will be 10 years next week since the CPI was first initiated and it was used at times to back up political moves. Mexican President Vincente Fox and Mahathir, former prime minister of Malaysia, complained about their countries standings in the index. CPI is the product of 17 survey organizations and TI has no chance to fix the standings in the index. The method of survey is sound and fair. But media could play a role in the index when they play up certain corruption cases and the world became aware of them, which pushes up the index.
CPI reflects realities felt by foreign investors, not government intentions and policies stressed, Eiger said. He said President Roh? statement in his opening address that his government has been able to remove all political-business corruption in Korea is being taken as meaning that these types of corruption should be phased out, but not yet cleaned up entirely and efforts will continuously pushed.
Among the 5,000 prominent figures around the world who participated in the forum included Lula Da Silva, president of Brazil; Emomali Rahmonov, president of Tajikistan; Baradaran Shoroka, Iranian vice president; Thaksin Shinawatra, Thai prime minister; Ali Shein, vice president of Tanzania; Driss Jettou, Moroccan prime minster; Macky Sall, Senegalese prime minister; Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Landan prime minister; Altogether Ministers and senior government officials from 130 countries. The representatives of international organizations and academia and civic groups, including UN, UNDP, UNHABITAT, OECE and the World Bank also attended the forum. nw

President Roh Moo-hyun delivers a speech at the 6th Global Forum on Participatory and Transparent Governance

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