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Written submission to UNCAC CoSP10 - Article 13 and civic space

This submission focuses on the implementation of UNCAC Article 13 and its nexus with civic space, as the necessary precondition to ensure the effective participation of society in preventing and combating corruption. At its core, the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) acknowledges the indispensable role of civil society in combating corruption, emphasising their involvement in decision-making processes and access to crucial information.

However, as we delve into the intricate web of Article 13's explicit and implicit obligations, a stark reality emerges—one where the safeguarding of civic space, essential for effective civil society participation, faces mounting challenges globally.

Recent UN resolutions and reports highlight a troubling trend: a decline in civil society involvement in decision-making, coupled with increasing restrictions on fundamental freedoms of association, expression, and assembly. These encroachments not only hinder the implementation of Article 13 but also imperil the very fabric of civic engagement necessary for combating corruption. Moreover, shortcomings in reviews and exclusionary practices in UNCAC subsidiary bodies exacerbate these challenges, necessitating a re-evaluation of current approaches to fortify civil society's pivotal role in anti-corruption endeavours.