Transparency International applauds the decision by the new United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to release his personal financial records, making him the first UN leader to do so publicly. In addition, Ban also has encouraged other high-level UN officials to disclose their finances publicly.
“We celebrate this gesture of open disclosure of information as a move toward greater transparency and accountability within the UN,” said David Nussbaum, Transparency International Chief Executive. “Alongside Ban, we also urge others – inside and outside of the UN – to follow this example.”
The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which was signed three years ago and came into force in 2005, has extensive provisions for preventative measures in the public and private sectors. Article 52 of the convention makes specific reference to this stating the need for “effective financial disclosure systems for appropriate public officials”.
Transparency International has done much work on raising awareness, monitoring and advocating for conventions such as UNCAC. During the first session of the Conference of States Parties last month in Jordan, TI helped to organise several civil society workshops and urged governments to take concrete actions and adopt a monitoring programme to make UNCAC a reality.
In addition, nine TI National Chapters from Latin America recently monitored the compliance of their governments with the provisions of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and the UN Anti-Corruption Convention for public officials to disclose publicly declarations of interests and assets both at the beginning and end of a post.
UN guidelines call for all high-level UN staff members to disclose their personal financial records to an ethics unit, but they are not required to make them public. The Secretary-General, however, is an elected official, and not a member of the UN staff, so he has no legal obligation to file. Ban, a former foreign minister of South Korea, was required to file disclosure statements as a part of his role in the South Korean government.
Transparency International has been working on the issue of political corruption for several years, developing mechanisms that can help prevent corruption involving people in positions of power. To see more of this work click here.
To see more of TI’s work on UNCAC and other conventions click here.
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