By Michael Pedersen, Associate Director, Head of Partnering Against Corruption Initiative at the World Economic Forum

Un-buildingIn advance of today’s International Anti-Corruption Day activities in New York, the World Economic Forum’s bi-annual meeting of signatories to the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) got off to a great start yesterday.

At the 14th PACI Task Force Meeting in New York, we brought together 65 senior anti-corruption experts from across industries and regions – the highest number ever.

Participants acknowledged the need to increase private sector engagement in fighting corruption and to involve business, government and civil society leaders in collective efforts to effectively address the root causes of specific problems (i.e. government officials not being paid a living wage and laws and regulations not being effectively enforced).

Participants highlighted the unprecedented momentum in 2010. Of specific note were the discussions on the design of a review mechanism for the UN Convention against Corruption and the adoption of the United Kingdom’s Bribery Bill, which raised the bar for companies with extra-territorial provisions that go even further than those in the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Finally, there was quite a bit of discussion on the exciting news that the G20 has adopted corruption as a priority for 2011, with an ambitious action plan for the private sector.

Among other interesting topics, peer-to-peer discussions in the meeting focused on challenges and solutions related to facilitation payments, business partners, enforcement, corporate culture and values, integrity audits and incentive structures. There was particular focus on high-impact industry and country-specific activities for leaders of business, government and civil society to come together and develop model process solutions that can be replicated and taken to scale.

The meeting continues today as part of the International Anti-Corruption Day. Participants will convene at the UN Headquarters in New York, with representatives from the International Chamber of Commerce, Transparency International and the United Nations Global Compact, chaired by Asha-Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary-General. I will share a recap and observations from today’s activities in tomorrow’s post.