Around 140 delegates will take part in the first OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Conference on “Combating corruption, Defending Democracy: The Role of National Parliaments”, to be hosted by the House of Representatives in Nicosia next week, head of the Cyprus delegation Irene Charalambides said on Wednesday.

In a written statement, the Akel MP said that the organisation of such a conference was a goal from the day she took office in the assembly as Special Representative on Fighting Corruption. The conference will take place on May 27 and 28 in Nicosia.

Keynote speakers represent the largest international organisations such as the World Bank, the UN, Greco, the OSCE, Transparency International, while journalists will be representing investigative journalism organisations.

She added that everyone will share their expertise and experiences. Representatives of the 57 parliaments will try to make use of this knowledge in their respective countries.

“Political will is paramount in the fight against corruption, and we will demonstrate this determination through the conference,” she added.

Charalambides also expressed her gratitude to House president Annita Demetriou, who, she said, is also interested in strengthening rule of law and transparency and has supported the MP’s efforts as regards the organisation of the conference.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Stefi Dracou on Tuesday met the newly established independent anti-corruption authority for an exchange of views on housing and staffing. The members of the new authority were appointed earlier this month.

In an announcement issued on Wednesday, the justice ministry said Dracou had assured she would support the authority’s requests so that they can get to work speedily.

The authority will be the go-to body to report suspected corruption in the broader public sector. It will examine reports/complaints about malfeasance/misfeasance in the broader public sector but will also be able to look at private-sector entities where these have dealings with the government.

It can initiate investigations on its own, or after receiving a complaint from a member of the public or acting under specific instructions from the cabinet.