UNODC holds workshop in Paraguay on implementation mechanisms of the Convention against Corruption

UNODC expert Claudia Sayagó speaks at the workshop

Asunción, 11 February 2014 - "The United Nations Convention against Corruption as a programming tool" was the theme of an international workshop held yesterday at the UN House in the Paraguayan capital Asunción.

The objective of this meeting, organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), was to develop participants' ability to implement the guidelines provided by the United Nations Convention against Corruption and its implementation mechanism as a programming tool.

This activity was presented by two international UNODC experts: Claudia Sayagó, from the Corruption and Economic Crime Branch of UNODC headquarters in Vienna, and Virginia de Abajo Marqués, anti-corruption advisor at UNODC's regional office in Panama.

The workshop was launched by José Manuel Martínez, adviser of the UNODC office in Paraguay, and Minister Soledad Quiñónez Astigarraga, from the National Anti-Corruption Secretariat (SENAC), who explained the work system and the strategies developed to fight corruption by various State institutions.

There were also representatives of the European Union, the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP) and UNODC.

During the workshop, Sayagó and Marqués explained how corruption slows a country's economic development and currently represents a "global threat", with a cost that far exceeds the damage caused by any crime.

"Corruption in all its forms is totally harmful because it discourages investment and judicial stability and increases the cost of public services, in addition to boosting poverty and inequality," said Sayagó. Meanwhile, Marqués noted that "corruption harms good governance because it undermines trust, discourages investments and encourages organized crime".

The workshop was divided into four sessions with their own objectives. It started with the theme "Corruption and Development: Relevance of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)". The second session was about "Understanding the Mechanism for the Review of Implementation of the Convention against Corruption", followed by "Technical Tools to Combat Corruption in Paraguay ". Finally, the fourth session was on" The First Review: What Kind of Support is Needed to Implement Chapters 3 and 4?".

The training was designed as an interactive debate. It included presentations that allowed participants to engage in discussions with the aim of sharing information and clarifying key concepts. Moreover, the space allowed participants to use the information provided to discuss implementations for the countries in which they operate.

UNODC organized the workshop as part of the implementation of the National Integrated Programme for Strengthening the Rule of Law, Security and Justice in Paraguay. This program aims to increase the responsiveness and efficiency of the Paraguayan State to address the challenges posed by organized crime, corruption and drugs in the country.

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