1 February 2008 - The Second Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption has just concluded in Bali, Indonesia. Summing up, UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa says: "I think it is fair to say that we took three steps forward, even if they are not great leaps."
The first step is that the Conference has brought a greater understanding of countries' capacities and needs as a result of the self-assessment. The methodology used has thus been tested and proven successful, which allows for more focused implementation. Governments have asked UNODC to expand this approach to cover all measures of the Convention and aim for a 100% response rate. Doing so would give the Office a solid basis of evidence on which to make a credible review of implementation.
Secondly, the review mechanism has moved from a blank canvas two years ago to a sketch at present. While there is some disappointment that the mechanism has not been finalized, at least there is agreement on its guiding principles, its terms of reference are taking shape, there are a growing number of eager test pilots, and the working group has its marching orders. UNODC will continue to push for the activation of the review mechanism.
Thirdly, the Bali session has showcased the range of technical assistance that is available and focused attention on where it is most urgently needed. Several stakeholders have expressed support for the technical assistance provided by UNODC. And by having an even more active presence on the ground, the Office can better meet the diverse needs of different countries, and ensure that this important work builds on real-life experiences.
Inspiration for future anti-corruption work can be drawn from the StAR Initiative where UNODC and the World Bank are working in tandem. There is a high level of interest among countries and several have come forward to take part in this initiative. Over the next year, the two partners will focus on a handful of cases (maximum half a dozen) in order to put the Initiative to the test and develop experience that can be applied more broadly
Finally, the various special events held in Bali over the past week show that the anti-corruption alliance is strong and that the number of stakeholders is growing. Judging from participants' feedback, so is their shared sense of responsibility for tackling corruption.
Full text of Mr. Costa's closing remarks.
More information about the "Artists for integrity" special event.
Official documents from the Conference.