We the undersigned civil society organisations, recognise the importance of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 as a strong and effective mechanism to fight corruption in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region together with promoting transparency, accountability and people’s participation in governance.

The ASEAN Vision 2025 emphasises strengthening democracy, good governance, and the rule of law, promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as combating corruption to uplift people’s standard of living in the ASEAN region. We call on ASEAN to incorporate the relevant SDG anti-corruption and good governance targets as key indicators in constructing the ASEAN Integrity Dialogue, the mechanism to promote anti-corruption work proposed in the ASEAN 2016-2025 work plan. This should specifically include targets related to tackling corruption and bribery, stopping illegal financial flows within and out of the region, the enactment and implementation of right to information laws realising peoples’ right to search, receive and impart information, and building strong institutions, including a network of strong anti-corruption commissions in the ASEAN region embracing the Jakarta principles.

All ASEAN governments should be accountable to their citizens in achieving these targets which they declared their commitment to by approving the SDGs in 2015. This is imperative considering the adoption of the ASEAN Economic Community which fosters open markets and a free flow of goods and services creating new challenges in upholding integrity and good governance.

The ASEAN secretariat should lead in monitoring its members’ commitments individually and collectively and should recognise the meaningful role that civil society has to play. This includes providing sufficient opportunities for CSOs to engage with their government and the ASEAN Secretariat in achieving the SDG targets and recognising the space for civil society in monitoring governments’ commitments.

Signatories:   

Asian Democracy Network
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development
Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism, Malaysia
Cooperation Committee for Cambodia
Luta Hamutuk and TI Focal Point, East Timor
Indonesia Global Compact Network
Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and Accountability
Proright Foundation, Thailand
The NGO Forum, Cambodia
Transparency International Cambodia
Transparency International Indonesia
Transparency International Malaysia
Transparency International Secretariat
Towards Transparency Vietnam
Yone Kyi Yar, Myanmar

15 November 2016

Reposted from Transparency International

The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ASEAN Trade Union Council.