UN conference produces anti-corruption strategy recommendations for Asia

Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), 29 October 2013
- UNODC is committed to developing and implementing sustainable anti-corruption strategies in Southeast Asia. As part of this process, it recently held the Asia Regional Meeting on Anti-Corruption Strategies in Kuala Lumpur, in partnership with the Government of Malaysia and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

The meeting developed a set of "Guidelines for Anti-Corruption Strategies" and a series of recommendations - the "Kuala Lumpur Statement on Anti-Corruption Strategies" - that will be presented at the Fifth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in Panama City, Panama, 25-29 November 2013.

Participants included anti-corruption and national planning authorities, anti-corruption practitioners, members of executive, legislative and judiciary branches from across Asia, and representatives of UNDP, UNODC, the World Bank, the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific, Transparency International and U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre.

"This conference created a resource of international views and expertise to aid States as they begin to revise existing anti-corruption strategies and design new ones," said Mr. Shervin Majlessi, UNODC Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser.

The Asia Regional Meeting on Anti-corruption Strategies aimed to have participating countries share their experiences in developing, implementing, and monitoring the implementation of anti-corruption strategies. It sought to clarify the preparation process of anti-corruption strategies; analyze the content and design of effective anti-corruption strategies; and identify mechanisms to ensure effective implementation, monitoring, oversight and reporting.

"While the development and launch of national anti-corruption strategies shows that many governments are committed to fight corruption, these strategies have not always yielded the expected impact," said Mr. Phil Matsheza, Practice Leader, Democratic Governance, UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre in Bangkok. "This conference hopes to provide States with the knowledge and tools to carry out effective anti-corruption strategies."

A key Meeting outcome was to get participants to agree on a set of guidelines or indicators to develop and implement an effective and successful national anti-corruption strategy.

In the opening speech Hon. Senator Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department pointed out: "No nation can sustain economic progress unless corruption is eradicated or significantly reduced. Many challenges and problems caused by failed economic management and crime are related to abuse of power and corruption."

The work of UNODC and UNDP includes assisting countries in the region to address anti-corruption issues collaboratively, including working with States to develop or revise anti-corruption strategies. Meeting participants focused on South, East and Southeast Asia country experiences as they reviewed the development, design, and monitoring and evaluation of anti-corruption strategies from around the globe.

"South-South Cooperation is essential to improving existing anti-corruption strategies and designing new ones," said Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, UN Resident Coordinator for Malaysia. "By sharing our experiences, challenges, best practices and guidance we remove obstacles to creating a more secure and better future for our fellow citizens, to creating countries that grow, countries that care, and countries that work."