Parties to UN Convention against Corruption should act locally
The first international meeting of parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) has delivered a positive negotiation outcome but as of yet too little concrete action to implement the only global legal tool to fight corruption.
Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International (TI), stated that the key decision had been made – countries have agreed that a monitoring mechanism will be created. Without this the Convention would have been likely to be ineffective. This means that the biggest hurdle has been successfully overcome at the international level, but it is now in the hands of governments to act at the national level. “The principle is clear: States’ implementation of UNCAC should be monitored, and this process must be transparent. But principle is not enough. Governments that are serious about fighting corruption must do self-assessments, and if they have not already, should establish national action plans to fight corruption,” said Labelle.
At the start of the Conference, TI urged governments to take concrete actions and adopt a monitoring programme to make UNCAC a reality. The Conference agreed that monitoring was necessary and established a working group with a deadline next year to make recommendations on the specifications of how all countries would track their efforts in fighting corruption and implementing the far-reaching Convention.
The Conference also agreed to establish an inter-governmental working group to work towards freezing, confiscating and returning stolen assets.
Issues on technical assistance for countries needing help in implementing the Convention will be discussed in a work shop convening donor agencies and legal experts within the next six months.
“TI urges governments that have not ratified the Convention to do so before the next Conference of States Parties in 2007. Countries that have already ratified must use their political will to take concrete actions against corruption,” said Labelle.
Transparency International is the civil society organisation leading the global fight against corruption.
Note to Editors:
To date, the UNCAC has been signed by nearly 150 countries and ratified by 80. Signatory countries met at the Dead Sea from 10 to 14 December to decide on ways to implement provisions addressing corruption in both the public and private sectors at the national and international levels.
Transparency International has approximately 100 chapters worldwide.
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