Starting today representatives of the 141 countries that have signed up to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) are meeting in Doha to decide whether to adopt a review mechanism that would give the treaty teeth.
Corruption undermines democracy, human rights and sustainable development. The UN convention, with its worldwide membership and wide-ranging provisions on transparency and accountability, has the potential to be the global anti-corruption standard.
However, a treaty is only as strong as its implementation, and this has to happen at a national level. Too often governments only pay lip service to their anti-corruption pledges. The success of the treaty will greatly depend on the adoption of an effective review mechanism, which will ensure that governments fulfil their obligations under the treaty. The review mechanism must include:
- Full publication of country reports
- Meaningful participation of civil society organisations
- In-country review visits
There is broad support for these measures, but a few vocal countries are blocking. Without a robust review mechanism, the effectiveness of the convention will be severely compromised, with serious consequences for the lives of citizens around the world and for the credibility of governments that have signed up to it.
Governments have until Friday to decide whether the UN Convention against Corruption will live up to its potential as a global anti-corruption standard.
Note to Editors: The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is the most comprehensive global legal framework for combating corruption. It is a binding agreement ratified by 141 states on standards and requirements for preventing, detecting, investigating and sanctioning corruption. The adoption of an effective review mechanism at the upcoming Conference of States Parties is essential for the success of the UNCAC.
The UNCAC Coalition, formed in 2006, is composed of more than 300 civil society organisations in over 60 countries. Its goal is to promote ratification, implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention against Corruption. More information can be found at http://www.uncaccoalition.org/
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