UNODC launches the Colombo Commentary, a guide to strengthen the independence of national anti-corruption agencies


Vienna (Austria) 28 August 2020 – The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched the Colombo Commentary, a guide to assist policymakers and decision makers in their efforts to promote the independence of anti-corruption agencies.

As more and more people publicly demand justice and an end to corruption, the role of anti-corruption agencies appears as crucial as ever to restoring trust in public institutions and fostering integrity.

The UN Convention against Corruption calls for the establishment of independent anti-corruption bodies, yet a recent analysis undertaken by UNODC reveals that half of the States parties reviewed under the second cycle of the Convention’s implementation review mechanism received a recommendation to strengthen the independence of their anti-corruption body or bodies.

Anti-corruption agencies from around the world developed in 2012 the Jakarta Statement on Principles for Anti-Corruption Agencies, to provide a set of benchmarks for the establishment of such agencies.

The Colombo Commentary on the Jakarta Statement on Principles for Anti-Corruption Agencies brings together the experiences of anti-corruption agencies to demonstrate how the Jakarta Principles can be implemented in practice. It aims to inspire and assist States parties and anti-corruption agencies in ensuring that national anti-corruption frameworks are developed and strengthened in line with the requirements of the Convention.

The guide reaffirms the critical importance of independence of anti-corruption agencies to ensure the success of anti-corruption strategies around the world. UNODC continues to stand ready to assist States parties in designing adequate legal frameworks in line with the Convention, using all available guidance. In this regard, the Colombo Commentary is a valuable addition to our toolbox in the fight against corruption.

The Colombo Commentary will be shared with delegates at the upcoming Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Prevention of Corruption to be held from 31 August 2020 until 2 September 2020 in Vienna, where, among other issues, the topic of enhancing the effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies will be discussed among parties to the Convention.

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