Unlocking the power of UNCAC at the Multi-stakeholder Workshop in Montenegro

27-29 September 2022, Kumbor, Montenegro: Corruption is a major hindrance for development, which extorts resources from the public into the hands of a few directly affecting people's livelihoods. Thriving corruption exacerbates existing inequalities, threatens economic equality, global anti-poverty, and local development efforts. In recent years, jurisdictions in South-Eastern Europe have increased their endeavors to implement legislative and preventive measures to counter corruption. Such measures as the anti-bribery provisions, laws on money-laundering, awareness raising activities were reinforced as well as public officials training was intensified. Along with national legislations, the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) provides legal guidance to address the challenges posed by corruption and bribery. In support of this, the Regional Programme “Southeast Europe – Together Against Corruption (SEE-TAC)”, launched and implemented by UNODC and the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative and funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation strengthens multi-stakeholder cooperation and response to these challenges in the SEE region.

Organized under the auspices of the SEE-TAC programme, the three-day workshop gathered some 50 stakeholders including representatives from public authorities, civil society, the private sector and partner organizations such as the UNCAC Coalition and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime to explore in depth the UNCAC, in particular Chapter II on preventive measures and Chapter V on asset recovery, and exchange information and best practices in this regard. Furthermore, during the training participants learnt more about the UNGASS political declaration and discussed how to advance its implementation along with the UNCAC.

Around 97% of the states globally have involved non-state actors in the second cycle review of the UNCAC implementation. The host country, Montenegro, as explained by the attending representatives from the Ministry of Justice and the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, held the country visit of the second cycle in late March, and notably, civil society organizations, previously trained by UNODC through similar workshops, were invited by the government to partake in the process. Subsequently, in August, the country signed the UNCAC Coalition’s Transparency Pledge, voluntarily committing to a high level of transparency during the second cycle of the UNCAC implementation review.

As the second cycle is unfolding, it remains relevant to continue training stakeholders on the Convention and its implementation review mechanism. This is beneficial for those countries that are in the early stages of their reviews, as well as for those that have completed theirs, as it advances the implementation of the recommendations stemming from the two cycle reviews. Bosnia and Herzegovina, for instance, that completed its second cycle review in 2017, is in the process of setting up an advisory board, comprised of governmental experts and civil society representatives from Transparency International and other local organizations, which will be mandated to follow up on the implementation of the recommendations from the two cycles. Other countries in the region are exploring ways to keep this momentum. UNODC will be supporting this effort in the region through continuous regional trainings as well as localized national activities.

Further information:

Video UNODC programme - Southeast Europe – Together Against Corruption (SEE-TAC)

UNODC & Partners Launch New Programme: Southeast Europe Together Against Corruption (SEE-TAC)

Regional Roadmap on Anti Corruption and Illicit Finance Flows