Opinion Editorial by Executive Director Yury Fedotov
Each year, on 9 December, the world marks International Anti-Corruption Day. We treat this not only as a means to raise awareness, but also as an opportunity to showcase innovative ways that people and organizations can work together to counter this scourge.
Corruption affects each and every one of us: our healthcare suffers when funds for medical equipment are stolen; our education systems are hit when school budgets are illegally siphoned off; and our political institutions are undermined when bribes are paid and kickbacks sought.
The creation of a Global Judicial Integrity Network moved a step closer to being realized as UNODC held its first regional preparatory meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Panamanian capital. Once live, the Network will bring together Chief Justices and members of judicial bodies from across the world and will be the first ever global platform dedicated exclusively to upholding judicial integrity and preventing corruption within the justice system.
A two-day preparatory meeting for the creation of a Global Judicial Integrity Network was held this week in Bangkok. The Network, which will go live in 2017, aims to connect judges to support each other in upholding judicial integrity and preventing corruption within the justice system.
By bringing together Chief Justices, members of judicial disciplinary bodies and judicial training institutions as well as other stakeholders inside and beyond the justice system from across the world, it will create the first ever global platform dedicated exclusively to this issue.
Ensuring that anti-corruption ideals are built directly into education is one of the surest ways to tackle this crime and build societies where respect for the rule of law is firmly embedded. Around this, and drawing from UNODC's extensive anti-corruption work, the Office kicked off a two-day workshop today in Tunisia, held jointly with the Doha-based Rule Of Law and Anti-corruption Center.
With the aim of supporting the development of stronger teaching capacity in the field of anti-corruption studies, the workshop brings together a diverse range of academics from the Middle East and North Africa region, across the fields of law, governance, political science and business studies. To support this aim, the workshop will also be looking at the possible establishment of a 'Network of Anti-Corruption Academics' for the region.
A multi-million-dollar funding agreement between Qatar and UNODC was signed in Vienna. The agreement, totalling more than $49 million and slated to run over four years, is to deliver projects related to justice, prisoners, youth and justice education.
Speaking at the signing event, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said, "This agreement is unprecedented in the history of UNODC and I commend Qatar's support for the 13th Crime Congress and the leadership and commitment it has shown during and after the event."
"This generous funding will be used to continue to advance the Doha Declaration and to ensure that UNODC builds projects and programmes that support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals" he said.