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On Feb. 15, 2024, it will be 25 years since the Anti-Bribery Convention went into force among members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a leading multilateral institution dedicated to the development of policies and the setting of international standards that bring prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all members of society in all countries. One of the scourges that prevent the attainment of these goals is bribery, the corruption of public authorities for private gain.

There is much data that proves corruption sucks resources, lessens efficiencies, creates distrust in public institutions, diminishes the tax base, and tears at the fabric of the social contract in general. While estimates vary, according to the World Bank Group, corruption around the world is estimated to cost more than $2.6 billion — 5 percent of the global gross domestic product — annually. It is no wonder that corruption breeds conflict and abets political dysfunction.

In short, bribery and corruption are a cancer and place impediments in front of sustainable development and economic growth. In the face of this, a quarter-century ago countries, large and small, worked together to hammer out a treaty that criminalizes corruption and ensures that those involved in these illicit activities are investigated, prosecuted and sentenced to prison.

The Anti-Bribery Convention builds on the pioneering work of the United States in this area of rule of law. Long before Europe legislatively recognized that there was a bribery problem among its multinational corporations, the U.S. Congress passed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in 1977, outlawing payoffs and other advantages provided to foreign public officials by U.S. persons and listed companies. It took almost 25 years for the rest of the developed, northern-industrialized world to get on board, to develop transnational rules that proscribe this abhorrent behavior.

Finally, the OECD treaty provided for a level playing field in the international business environment. Until then, payoffs, bribes and other rent-seeking behavior were actually used as business expenses in many countries, deducted from taxes owing. This was, to say the least, an unfair business practice and acted as a competitive advantage in international procurement processes for European countries; it put U.S. businesses at a disadvantage, because only they could not bribe foreign officials to win contracts.

Officially called the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, the OECD treaty required signatory countries to criminalize bribery of foreign public officials. By criminalizing acts of offering or providing bribes to foreign public officials by companies or individuals, this international agreement focused on the supply side of bribery. The Anti-Bribery Convention also provided an open-ended monitoring system to make sure that the international obligations that all countries agreed to are actually implemented in their respective domestic legislation.

While the treaty was signed in December 1997 by members of the OECD (fundamentally by developed countries with modern economies), over the years all 38 member countries have signed and implemented the treaty. Another seven non-member countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Peru, Romania, Russia and South Africa, have ratified or attorned to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. Yes, even Russia and South Africa — neither paragons of probity, fiscal exactitude or good corporate governance — have signed on.

Corruption disrupts international trade benefits, creates a culture of lawlessness, and undermines trust in public authorities. It is also economically inefficient as it adds transactions costs that get passed along supply chains, injuring consumer welfare and putting at risk product safety and public security. There is a reason why 190 parties signed on to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2003.

These last 25 years have been important to stem corruption, but as we have seen in so many cases — from Japan’s military procurement graft case in the 1970s, to “Operation Car Wash” in Brazil a decade ago, and to the “Fat Leonard” scandal in the U.S. just a few years ago, to name a few — this is an ongoing problem that is not going away any time soon.

All members of the international community should sign, ratify, deposit and implement the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in their respective domestic legislation regimes. Only by snuffing out corruption can the benefits of free trade, sustainable development and economic growth be enjoyed across all societies. Trust in government officials and confidence in public institutions help build a system for accessing remedies and sanctions for bad behavior. It is the backbone of the rule of law. And bribery and corruption corrode the rule of law.

James Cooper is professor of Law at California Western School of Law in San Diego, where he serves as director of International Legal Studies. Fernando Garibay is an award-winning record producer, polymath, and founder of the Garibay Institute.

The Garibay Institute’s Creativity Masterclass & Workshop aims to instill creativity frameworks and orthogonal practices to achieve higher levels of performance with global leaders in corporate, academic, finance and entertainment and policy.

The masterclass and workshop is led by renowned record super producer, polymath and creativity pioneer Fernando Garibay and his team. The core curriculum is based on his “Creativity as a Skill” principles and framework. Fernando’s unique orthogonal approach distills creativity into its basic form while zooming in and out of latest research in a vast array of disciplines; i.e., neuroscience, behavioral economics, neuroeconomics, evolutionary psychology, intergenerational inherited trauma/intelligence transmission, epigenetics, eastern/western philosophy et. al. While cross-referencing his case studies and culture shifting work making hits with Lady Gaga, Shakira, Whitney Houston, Sia, Paris Hilton, Lizzo, etc. Fernando showcases how creativity and hyper-sensing are skills that can and must be taught, honed and mastered - for the evolution of our inner- outer-self; our interconnectedness; and for the betterment of humanity.

We recently had the pleasure of teaching and inspiring a long list of Young Global Leaders and friends at The Garibay Institute on Jan 28/29 2023. This was a very special Global Leaders edition in which we used Hit-Songwriting and Music Production as a proxy and gateway to the creative experience. “We set out to prove that everyone can be a creative being; what we accomplished was this shift in perception and the birth of new artists” -Fernando Garibay

Thank you Lily, Soulaima, Peggy Liu for all the support and help producing this event; and a special thank you to all our new YGL artists.

YGL Artist Participants (January 28, 2023)

Kristine Stewart

Zaib Shaikh

Chris Antegeka

Lily Lapenna

Alice Jacobs

Winston Damarillo

Claudia Massei

Mei Wen

Maria del Castillo

Geogie Giner

Pam Ros Damrillo

Jaime Nack

Fernando Grostein Andrade

Andrea Carafa

Soulaima Gourani Fernando Siqueira

YGL Artist Participants (January 29, 2023)

Soulaima Gourani

John Kim

Robin Merritt

Shashank Sripada

Ramazan Nanayev

Chirag Sagar

Vimbayi Kajese

Sara Sutton

Laura Walker Lee

Yiwen Li

Jeremy Miller

Peggy Liu

THE HILL 06/05/23

Last month, Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, the company that gave the world ChatGPT and all the headaches thereafter, pleaded before the United States Senate Judiciary subcommittee for the U.S. Congress to regulate “increasingly powerful” artificial intelligence (AI) systems. A week later, the Biden-Harris administration announced new efforts “to advance the research, development and deployment of responsible AI that protects individuals’ rights and safety and delivers results for the American people.”

This new missive builds on the administration’s AI Bill of Rights from October 2022 and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) framework for AI legislation in April 2023. However, none of these efforts constitute actual legislation; it sounds remarkably similar to a university faculty or corporate meeting in which one plans to make a plan. Other than state/local-level legislation like that in New York City to prevent bias in employment decisions due to AI, most AI regulatory efforts thus far have been advisory in nature. Is this current patchwork the best way to approach regulation on something that is poised to alter our information economy, impact knowledge worker employment, and exacerbate the ills of technology on society?

As U.S. lawmakers undertake their revolving merry-go-round of confabulations, the European Parliament is on the verge of enacting the European Union Artificial Intelligence Act. While the EU AI Act contains innovative ideas that can inform global regulatory efforts, such as rules for different AI systems based on their respective levels of threats, it risks creating a regulatory chokehold on the technology industry. Regulations have unintended consequences; take the EU’s data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Only deep-pocketed companies have the resources to follow its complex rules, tilting the scales in favor of Big Tech while small businesses struggle to comply. The GDPR shows mixed results at best that should give us pause.

The Chinese approach to the technology sector has been to champion local companies and create a blooming walled garden. In AI, the approach of the People’s Republic of China is similar; the country’s political leaders and its battery of state-owned enterprises and academic institutions are focusing on AI-with-Chinese characteristics, hoping to win the global AI race. In May 2019, the Beijing AI Principles were published by the Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence, an organization backed by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and the Beijing municipal government, in addition to companies including Tsinghua University, Peking University and the country’s biggest tech behemoths, Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent. China has also been quick off the block to regulate generative AI, seeking to impose measures like prior government approval before the release of any ChatGPT-like products. As China accelerates its international trade and investment policy — the Belt and Road Initiative — its rules on AI may also get exported to countries around the world.

Countries as diverse as the Brazil, Canada, Germany, Israel, India and the United Kingdom are developing national strategies for the ethical use of AI as well. Among the Gulf countries, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have also outlined national AI strategies and roadmaps. Our analysis of these efforts makes one thing very clear: No country has it all figured out yet. AI requires updates to our regulatory approach and upgrades to our risk architectures.

AI is both a horizontal technology with broad applications and a dual-use technology that can be put to both good and bad uses. The current approach outside the EU has been mostly about the establishment of guidelines (except in China), but these are not binding, nor do they carry penalties for transgressions. Without enforcement, there is little point in having rules that do nothing but codify norms.

But rules are not the only way to enforce important norms for society. There are other ways to regulate AI research, development and deployment short of innovation-stifling regulation.

Self-regulating organizations (SROs), wherein industry participants voluntarily establish standards and best practices and agree to abide by them, are one such mechanism by which AI researchers and merchants can be held accountable, albeit to each other. If such SROs have sanction ability, like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority does for the financial system in the United States, all the better. Organizations that declare their support for and compliance with ethical AI principles and standards would be a great start. Independent audits and third-party certifications of compliance to standards could then define the next level of scrutiny.

There already exists a myriad of product safety, consumer protection and anti-discrimination laws, which apply to products and services that embed AI. When such systems make mistakes, the consequences relate to the context and use case. As an example, autocorrect not working properly carries low stakes; facing charges for a crime because of an AI error, on the other hand, carries massive impact and must be avoided. The bar for AI must be high when the cost of errors and consequences of mistakes is high. That is exactly the level-of-risk approach to regulation currently being considered in the EU. As being contemplated in the U.K., sector-specific regulation can bring contextual granularity to regulation.

Ultimately, regulation has to balance multiple objectives: citizen rights, consumer welfare, technology innovation, economic interests, national security and geopolitical interests, among others. It needs to consider the current and the future. Its scope is local and global. As such, AI rules must align with existing regulatory ethos, institutions and capabilities. AI regulation has to be strategic, not trend-chasing, nor based on the latest shiny AI tool.

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