The Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Manlio Di Stefano, chaired a session held at the Farnesina today to assess the state of implementation of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery. All of the signatory countries are subject to periodic reviews of their implementation of the Convention. Italy’s efforts in combating bribery, in which the ratification of the OECD Convention in September 2000 was a milestone, saw further notable successes in 2021 under the Italian Presidency of the G20. This confirms our country’s strong focus on this issue, not least in the light of constitutional principles that are unique in their kind.
In his opening address, Undersecretary Di Stefano underscored the commitment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in combating bribery. This is witnessed by the numerous initiatives to disseminate a culture of legality, integrity and transparency in the institutions and economic operators promoted by the Farnesina, in Italy and abroad, through its diplomatic network.
The Hon. Di Stefano also noted the results achieved by the working group set up to coordinate inter-institutional and inter-sectoral initiatives to combat bribery. This body has been operational in the Farnesina since 2016. Through coordination with the other competent government bodies, the private sector and civil society, the working group organises Italy’s work in global anti-bribery strategies. This instrument gives the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation a leading role on this issue and has been listed as one of the “good practices” by the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (ANAC).
In the words of the Undersecretary, in just a few years these initiatives have enabled Italy to gain “a role as a technical guide in activities to combat international corruption”. Our country’s efforts in preventing and suppressing corruption have received further recognition from Transparency International. According to the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) compiled by that organisation, Italy has risen ten places over the last year.
Today’s event at the Farnesina was attended by representatives of the OECD, the Ministry of Justice – which coordinated the examiners’ mission to Italy – the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry for the Economy and Finance. Participants also included the acting National Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor, the Chair of Commission IX of the Superior Council of the Judiciary, members of the National Anti-Corruption Authority (ANAC), the Corte dei Conti (Italy’s Supreme Audit Institution), CONSOB, the Guardia di Finanza (finance police) and the Scuola Nazionale dell’Amministrazione (SNA), as well as representatives of the business world and civil society.