Fifa row ‘must spur corruption war’

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Published: Saturday 6th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Bribery allegations at FIFA should act as a spur for the international community to target the “cancer” of corruption in organisations, businesses and governments around the globe, David Cameron is to tell world leaders at a major summit.

The Prime Minister will use the G7 summit in Germany to call for an international effort to root out corruption, arguing that it is holding back economic growth and human development in countries all over the world.

He will condemn an international “taboo” on pointing the finger at corrupt institutions, and will say that the FIFA scandal has shown how shining a spotlight on an organisation can provide the trigger for cleaning up its operations.

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 per cent to business costs worldwide, with one trillion US dollars (£650 billion) paid in bribes every year.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) believes corruption costs around five per cent of global GDP annually, while in developing countries it can add 25 per cent 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.

British officials said the PM would speak of a “cancer of corruption that poisons and stifles” the progress which the G7 hopes to make on development and growth, and will say that the kind of scrutiny being applied to FIFA should not be restricted to the footballing body, but applied more widely. He is not, however, expected to name organisations and businesses which he would like to see put under the spotlight.

Published: Saturday 6th June 2015 by The News Editor

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