Iraq to follow-up on the findings of the UN Convention Against Corruption's Review Mechanism

Responding to Iraq's expressed readiness to take stock of gaps identified by the (2011-2012) United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Review Mechanism, UNODC organized a two-day workshop in April 2013 for high-level officials and experts from the Commission of integrity, and Office of the Inspectors General, at the Anti-corruption Academy. The objective of the Workshop which took place in Baghdad, Iraq, was to discuss these gaps with a view of finding appropriate means of addressing them.

Under UNCAC Review Mechanism, Member States usually undergo an implementation review process. Iraq's UNCAC implementation review, undertaken by experts from Jordan and Malaysia, was finalised in December 2012. While it was revealed by this process that Iraq was successful in complying with certain provisions, many other steps need still to be taken to respond to the series of challenges highlighted.  

Shortly after the completion of the review process and the publication of the Executive Summary, Iraq has expressed its readiness to take stock of the identified gaps in its implementation of UNCAC Chapters III (Criminalization and Law Enforcement) and IV (International Cooperation) and to build on its recommendations.  

Twenty high-level officials, experts, executive and directors-general, inspectors-general and investigators from the Commission of Integrity and Office of the Inspectors General as well as UNODC participated to discuss the outcomes of Iraq's participation in the UNCAC Implementation Review Mechanism and set priority areas for future action in relation to international cooperation.

The two-day discussions, held both in working groups and plenary, gave participants the opportunity to address in depth the challenges when dealing with mutual legal assistance and extradition. More specifically, the workshop gave participants the opportunity to clarify key concepts, acknowledge limitations by comparing existing national legal provisions with the UN Model Laws on Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition, review case studies and conduct practical exercises and various scenarios to identify realistic solutions to current challenges.

Besides knowledge transfer and awareness raising, another outcome of the workshop was a draft work plan prioritizing future steps to improve the effectiveness of requesting and providing international cooperation in legal matters with a focus on mutual legal assistance and extradition. Specific areas for action identified included legislative reform, internal policy and procedures of relevant institutions, capacity building, inter-agency collaboration and bilateral and regional cooperation.

Technical assistance to implement the work plan will be made available through a project aimed at "supporting the Iraqi efforts to ensure the effectiveness of the fight against corruption by strengthening implementation of the UNCAC", which has been finalized expected to be launched in June 2013. The project is funded (2 million US$) by the United States Department of State: Bureau of Intl Narcotics & Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)

For more information regarding this project, contact Claudia Olaru, claudia.olaru at unodc.org, in the UNODC Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa.