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Commonwealth leaders go tough on corruption

President Mohammadu Buhari
President Mohammadu Buhari
Leaders of the 53-member Commonwealth on Sunday agreed to work together to strengthen international, regional and national responses to corruption.

In a communiqué released at the end of their three-day meeting in Malta, the leaders pledged to achieve this through enhanced transparency and collaboration among law enforcement bodies.

“ Corruption is a significant challenge facing the world today. The Commonwealth is doing important work to address corruption and this should be strengthened in future,’’ the communiqué that was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said.
The leaders noted the remarkable achievement made by the world in tackling polio disease and called for more action to ensure its total eradication.

They, therefore, resolved for an accelerated action and renewed financial support to affected countries to assist them in the fight against polio.

The 18-point communiqué also announced an agreement by the leaders to launch the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub, the Commonwealth Trade Finance Facility, and the Commonwealth Small States Centre of Excellence.

These bodies, it said, were aimed at adding value to the organisation and enhancing “the Commonwealth’s relevance and practical impact’’.

The leaders said they were deeply concerned about the increase in flows of refugees, asylum seekers and irregular migrants, which entailed suffering, abuse and exploitation, particularly for children and women, and unacceptable loss of life.

“Migration, if properly harnessed and managed, can deliver economic and social benefits which improve the resilience and prosperity of Commonwealth member states.

“We underlined the importance of safe, orderly and regular migration and of ensuring full respect for human rights and the humane treatment of all migrants as well as refugees and displaced persons.

“We are committed to responding decisively, guided by the principles of solidarity, partnership and shared responsibility,’’ the document said.

It said the leaders, therefore, pledged to support enhanced national and international efforts to address the causes of irregular migration.

The leaders condemned increasing incidences of terrorism and violence by extremist groups, which often target vulnerable groups and individuals.

“These threats should not be associated with any particular religion, race, nationality or ethnicity,’’ it said.

They, however, agreed that such threats must be countered through strong national, regional and international action and co-operation, and called for measures to counter the use of the internet by extremist groups to radicalise and recruit fighters.

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