African civil society and governments working together on anti-corruption issues
UNODC together with the UNCAC Coalition organized a multi-stakeholder workshop for civil society and government on the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and its review mechanism, hosted by the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) in Laxenburg, Austria, from 24 to 26 June 2014.
ffffffffCSO representatives and government officials
With the support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the workshop was officially opened by H.E. Ms. Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, Director General for Legal and Consular Affairs, Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria.
The event was attended by 30 participants representing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and governmental focal points from 12 countries across Africa and aimed at providing the necessary tools to work constructively on the implementation of UNCAC.
By bringing together government officials and civil society members, this event created a platform for participants to discuss and exchange on best practices, as well as to build a good working relationship. As Ms. Gillian Murray, UNODC Chief of Public Affairs and Policy Support Branch, said in her opening statement: "Corruption is a plight that needs to be addressed together; governments, civil society, the private sector and international organizations have the duty to ensure that acts of corruption do not take place at any level anywhere."
The workshop highlighted good practices such as the experiences shared by the Kenyan participants who referred to the positive aspects, as well as the challenging steps, of civil society participation in the UNCAC review process at the national level. Mr. Morris Odhiambo, representing the Kenyan NGO CLARION, indicated that "civil society's inclusion in the National Steering Committee on the UNCAC Review in Kenya represents a good practice and gives civil society an opportunity to work with the relevant authorities."
Other participants also spoke about their national experiences of working with various stakeholders and provided substantive knowledge which NGOs and governments alike can draw from to combat corruption. Furthermore, experiences of working with the private sector were also presented by an NGO from Nigeria, TI and UNODC.
To date, some 200 civil society organizations from across the world have been trained under the UNODC Civil Society Programme with the aim of providing the necessary tools to follow-up and work with their respective governments and the private sector on implementing the Convention.
Participants, experts and trainers at the International Anti-Corruption Academy