Statement by the President: Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (9/16/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
September 16, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Yesterday I joined the leaders of 19 nations in the Western Hemisphere
in ratifying the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption.

     The Convention establishes a treaty-based regime among members of the
Organization of American States (OAS) to combat official corruption.  OAS
members who have ratified the Convention will have to criminalize acts of
corruption if they have not already done so.  Most important, they will
have to criminalize the bribery of foreign government officials, a practice
that punishes honest businesses, undermines economic development, and
destroys confidence in law.  The United States pressed for this provision,
and it is a breakthrough in our effort to persuade other countries to adopt
legislation similar to our Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

     The Convention will strengthen America?s ability to cooperate with,
and receive assistance from, countries in the Hemisphere in efforts to
prevent, investigate, and prosecute corruption, through extradition, mutual
legal assistance and other measures.  It will also enhance law enforcement
capabilities in other areas, given the links between corruption and
organized criminal activity.

     This Convention was the first multilateral agreement against bribery
to be adopted anywhere in the world.  It is a victory for good government,
fair competition, and open trade through our Hemisphere.


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