29 July 2010 - The International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) is the world's first educational institution dedicated to fighting corruption. Starting in September, it will train policymakers in governments, the private sector and civil society, as well as professionals such as judges, investigators, prosecutors, police officers, regulators and academics from all over the world.
The Austrian Government is providing state-of-the-art premises in Laxenburg, near Vienna, to house the Academy, which will become an international organization in 2011.
"The partnership between Austria, UNODC and the European Anti-Fraud Office to establish IACA is proof of our common will to meet an urgent need for the education and training of experts," said Martin Kreutner, Head of the IACA Transition Team.
On 2 and 3 September, these partners will hold a conference called "From Vision to Reality: A New and Holistic Approach to Fighting Corruption", during which the Academy will be launched.
The Academy will enable more effective implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and its measures on prevention, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, and asset recovery. UNODC already provides technical assistance to help States build capacity in those areas.
"The United Nations fully supports the creation of the Academy, which will help further our aims to build a culture of integrity and create a new generation of leaders in the public and private sectors," said Dimitri Vlassis, Chief of the UNODC Corruption and Economic Crime Branch.
IACA will offer tailor-made programmes, including courses for practitioners from developing countries. Students will be able to pursue academic degrees while exchanging ideas and networking on campus. Finally, IACA will be a global think tank and a standard-setter for all matters related to corruption.
Internationally recognized scholars and experts will make up the teaching faculty. "Superior training coupled with advanced academic research will give those who need it a significant edge in their work," said Mr. Kreutner. "Their know-how will have a trickle-down effect in their countries and help create the conditions for change."
IACA is pursuing partnerships with international organizations (such as the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), anti-corruption networks, international academic institutions and the private sector. Mr. Kreutner notes that "the increasing participation of private companies wishing to establish ethics compliance programmes is another exciting aspect of our work."
Mr. Kreutner is optimistic about the future: "Corruption is not inevitable, but it is no longer a local problem; it is a global one and needs a concerted international response. We are on the right track with the Convention and the IACA."