STRENGTHENING UN CONVENTION IMPLEMENTATION REVIEWS

Posted 25 November 2013 by Transparency International Secretariat

Over 1000 government officials will gather today at a United Nations summit in Panama on the tenth anniversary of adoption of the UN Convention against Corruption. Transparency International is calling on the summit to strengthen the review process that checks country compliance with the convention.

The UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is the foremost instrument for overcoming global corruption, ratified by 168 countries to date, an impressive achievement.

A new report from Transparency International shows the most effective way to assure continued country commitment and momentum is for action to improve country reviews and their follow-up of the recommendations coming out of it.

 

Transparency International is making the following recommendations to the Conference of State Parties to the UNCAC (CoSP):

Follow-up Action on Country Reports: A follow-up process must be established to ensure prompt government action to carry out recommendations made in country reviews. Transparency International urges that governments issue action plans within six months.

 

Overcoming Delays: The country review process is far behind schedule and delays are understandable given the large number of provisions that must be covered and the differences in legal and political systems. More realistic schedules must be established.

 

Increasing Transparency: At present only executive summaries of country reports are required to be made public. The transparency of the review process would be improved if the full text of country review reports, as well as government self-assessment reports were open.

 

Country Visits: Most governments have agreed to country visits by review teams. This should become standard practice because the alternative of only conducting desk reviews in Vienna is unsatisfactory, both for the review teams and for civil society participation.

 

Improving Civil Society Participation: NGOs should be consulted by review teams during country visits and by governments during the self-assessment process. Increased civil society participation would increase public credibility. Denying observer status is inconsistent with applicable legal rules and deprives such bodies of valuable non-governmental input.

 

Ratification: Germany and Japan have thus far failed to ratify, despite a G20 recommendation that all G20 governments should do so. Transparency International urges both governments without delay.

 

Transparency International’s UN Convention against Corruption Progress Report 2013 launched today to coincide with the COSP meeting in Panama looks at how well the UNCAC review process has worked in 60 countries around the world. It contains findings and recommendations on how to improve upon existing measurements of the success of UNCAC in countries that have ratified the convention.