UNODC, ANTAI, IAACA Press Conference for the upcoming V Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption
In November 2013, Panama will be highlighted on the world stage as it hosts two highly anticipated and high-level international anti-corruption events: The 7th Annual General Meeting of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (22 to 24 November 2013) and the V Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) (25 to 29 November 2013), which will be held in the region for the first time since the enforcement of the UNCAC in Merida, Mexico in 2003.
Mrs. Abigail Benzadón, Director General of Panama's newly established National Authority for Transparency and Access to Information (ANTAI according to its acronym in Spanish), opened the Press Conference by welcoming the press and invited guests and expressing appreciation for the opportunity for ANTAI to play an integral role in the realization of the upcoming anti-corruption conferences.
The Secretary General of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA), Mr. Ye Feng, took advantage of the opportunity to thank Panama for hosting the 7 th General Meeting of IAACA and highlighted that Mrs. Abigail Benzadón, Director General of Panama's National Authority for Transparency and Access to Information, will become the first female Member of the Association's Board of Trustees to represent the region. Mr. Feng also noted that the theme for this year's General Meeting will be "Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Challenges".
UNODC was represented during the conference by the Chief of Economic Crime Branch, at Headquarters in Vienna, Mr. DimitriVlassis, as well as the Regional Representative for Central America and the Caribbean, Mr. Amado de Andrés, who is based in UNODC's Regional Office in Panama City. Shedding light on the Conference of the States Parties (CoSP) to the UNCACand underling the integral role of the Panamanian Government (in particular ANTAI) in the realization of these conferences, Mr. Vlassis highlighted the magnitude of the international platform that will be generated by the CoSP as 167 States Parties come together in Panama City in November to discuss and exchange views on various issues pertaining to the fight against corruption. Some of the highlighted issues include, but are not limited to: the Implementation Review Mechanism of the UNCAC; the prevention of corruption and the technical assistance available to States Parties to the Convention; and Asset Recovery initiatives and programmes.
Mr. Vlassis also explained that, in parallel to the CoSP, a number of Special Events will also take place and Panama City will be converted into a launch pad for a number for of UNODC materials and technical guides designed to assist States Parties in combating corruption. He also highlighted the emphasis that the V CoSP will place on the role of the Private Sector, underlining various UNODC initiatives that have been developed to strengthen collaboration between the public and private sectors.