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Monitoring is the key to the success of a UN Convention Against Corruption

“Transparency International welcomes the lead of Austria and the Netherlands in their proposal that the implementation of the Convention be formally monitored.” Peter Eigen, Transparency International

The opening of negotiations to agree a United Nations Convention Against Corruption was welcomed today by Transparency International, the world's leading non-governmental organisation engaged in the fight against corruption. The negotiations will be launched in Vienna on Monday, 21 January.

"We welcome this initiative by the international community and its recognition of the importance of a global approach to containing corruption," said Peter Eigen, Chairman of Transparency International. "The proof of any convention will be in its implementation," he continued. "If the convention is to be a success, it is essential that governments commit themselves to formal monitoring of their implementation of the convention. In this spirit, it is extremely good news that both Austria and the Netherlands have proposed that implementation be monitored. Transparency International urges other governments to follow this lead, and in so doing to send a signal that they are serious in their commitment to curb corruption."

"A number of governments have agreed in regional anti-corruption treaties to formal monitoring arrangements," continued Peter Eigen, "and the challenge in Vienna is to carry this development into a global anti-corruption convention." At the appropriate time, Transparency International will table a draft Optional Protocol, which will test the commitment of governments to the anti-corruption agenda. "This will enable those governments who are serious about the fight against corruption to demonstrate their commitment to free their peoples from one of the greatest menaces of our time," he said.

"The focus of governments in their anti-corruption efforts must be sustained in such a way that this important UN initiative does not deflect attention from other efforts that are already underway," said Peter Eigen. "It is particularly important that a lengthy UN process is not misused by politicians as a cover to delay practical action pending the outcome of the convention process. The convention should not be cited as an excuse to delay action that is urgently needed now."

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