Empowering civil society to fight corruption
19 July 2013 -The UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) recognizes the role of civil society in combating impunity by calling on governments to increase transparency, improve public access to information, and to promote public contribution to government decision-making processes. UNODC bolsters the capacity and engagement of civil society, especially from developing countries, by providing them with the necessary tools to work constructively with governments and the private sector on UNCAC implementation.
Recently in Dakar, Senegal, UNODC organized a four day training for 40 civil society organization representatives from 34 countries on the Convention and its review mechanism - a peer assessment to see how countries are living up to their obligations under UNCAC.
Experts from UNODC and the UNCAC Coalition provided participants with insights into the Convention's provisions in order for them to contribute to the review alongside their governments, and also to develop their capacity to prepare self-assessment and country reports. Above all, participants had the opportunity to share experiences and good practices with all actors involved in the fight against corruption, beyond sectoral and national boundaries.
The UN Convention against Corruption is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument and its article 13 states that civil society should play an active role in combating corruption. To date, 146 NGOs have been trained and equipped with the necessary tools to foster the implementation of the Convention in their own country. In addition, in the coming months, UNODC will provide civil society organizations with the opportunity to apply for small grants with the aim of developing innovative ways to work with small and medium size businesses on anti-corruption activities.