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Seoul to host global anti-corruption conference

Oct 29,2018
The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission announced last Thursday that Seoul will host the International Anti-Corruption Conference, the world’s largest anti-corruption forum, in 2020. Around 2,000 people from the public and private sectors will come together to discuss ways to eradicate corruption and build integrity in society.

The 19th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) will kick off in early June at COEX in Gangnam District, southern Seoul.

The commission said it planned to “spread the spirit of the candlelight revolution to the world” through the biannual forum, referring to the nationwide candlelight vigils of 2016 that played a key role in ousting former President Park Geun-hye.

Co-hosted by the commission and Transparency International, a non-governmental organization based in Berlin, Germany, the forum is expected to attract nearly 2,000 government officials, scholars and workers at civic and international organizations across the globe, enabling attendees to share opinions through five plenary sessions and 50 workshops.

A variety of events will also be held on the sidelines of the conference, such as a film festival and concert to enhance awareness of anti-corruption among the youth.

“It is profoundly meaningful that the 19th edition of the IACC will be held in Korea, whose government and civil society overcame a political crisis together and are now closely cooperating to build a transparent society,” said Kim Tae-eung, the standing commissioner of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission. “I hope that the spirit of the candlelight revolution of the Korean people can be shared with the global community at the 19th IACC in Seoul.”

The last time Korea hosted an IACC was 2003 under the Roh Moo-hyun administration. This year’s conference was hosted by Denmark in Copenhagen under the theme, “Together for development, peace and security: now is the time to act.”

The commission said it would consult with Transparency International to have the next forum in Seoul themed under the importance of cooperation between the public and private sectors to eradicate corruption.

Through the upcoming event, the commission said it looked forward to promoting Korea’s model cases of “public-private cooperative governance,” in which members from the general public are encouraged to voice their opinions on policy issues through various platforms.

The commission also vowed to introduce anti-corruption achievements made in the current Moon Jae-in administration, and through that effort, hopefully score higher on Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index, through which countries are graded and ranked by their perceived levels of corruption.

Korea ranked 51st out of 180 countries in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, or 29th out of 35 nations in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The forum is expected to inject some 2.95 billion won ($2.6 million) into the domestic economy, the commission said in a press release.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]