UNODC to hold anti-corruption training for African civil society organizations

Photo: UNODC: NGO demonstration7 February 2012 - As events in the Arab world have recently shown, corruption can undermine democratic institutions, slow economic development and contribute to instability. Civil society organizations can play a major role in fighting corruption, not only by acting as watchdogs for governments but also by supporting governments in providing services to all citizens in a transparent and democratic manner.

In order to enable African civil society organizations to contribute to implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and to the process of review of its implementation, UNODC, with the support of the Austrian Development Agency, is organizing a training workshop from 20 to 23 March 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

During the four-day event organized in partnership with the UNCAC Coalition, participants will learn about the key provisions of the Convention. They will be taught how to work constructively with their Governments, the media and the private sector in their respective countries to contribute to implementation of the Convention at the local, national, regional and global levels.

Participants will take part in practical exercises to familiarize themselves with the methodology of country reviews under the Convention's Implementation Review Mechanism, including the various tools and steps of the review process, and how to raise private-sector awareness of corruption. The review of implementation of the Convention is a crucial process as it helps States parties to identify challenges and good practices.

Participants will be taught how to contribute to country reviews undertaken by States Parties to the Convention and how to respond if invited by their Governments to participate in the preparation of self-assessment checklists and direct dialogue. They will also be provided with guidelines on how civil society organizations can work with the private sector to prevent corruption.

Last year, UNODC held a similar training event - the first of its kind - at the then newly-inaugurated International Anti-Corruption Academy in Laxenburg, Austria, with 35 civil society participants from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the first legally binding international instrument to acknowledge the contribution that civil society can make to fighting corruption.

The Civil Society Team at UNODC will continue assisting participants after the training event in their work to contribute to the implementation of the Convention in their countries and in sharing their knowledge with other members of civil society in their country or region.

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