International Anti-Corruption Academy established in Austria

14 October 2008 - The world's first educational institution dedicated to fighting corruption was established yesterday. An agreement was signed between the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and UNODC to establish the International Anti-Corruption Academy. The Academy, to be located in Laxenburg, near Vienna, will open in autumn 2009. The Austrian Government will provide state-of-the-art infrastructure for the Academy.

Internationally recognized scholars and experts will provide law enforcement officials, government representatives and other students with cutting-edge and innovative anti-corruption education, training, investigative assistance and research.

The Academy has a two-pronged mission: to develop curricula and training tools; and to conduct training courses and anti-corruption education. "This will strengthen capacity to prevent, measure and fight corruption", said the Executive Director of UNODC, Antonio Maria Costa.

"Anti-corruption is a key element in our commitment to build the capacity of police and other law enforcement in our Member States. The Interpol-UNODC International Anti-Corruption Academy will play a central role in enabling police and prosecutors worldwide to investigate and prosecute corruption", said INTERPOL Secretary-General Ronald K. Noble.

Mr. Costa highlighted the practical benefits of the Academy, particularly the training of experts working in anti-corruption agencies and financial intelligence units. "This Academy will train anti-corruption officers so as to guarantee integrity in the conduct of business, both public and private", he said, also stressing the importance of educating future generations of leaders in government, the private sector and civil society "to build a culture of integrity".

The Academy will enable more effective implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption which includes measures related to prevention, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, and asset recovery.

Franz-Hermann Bruener, Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud Office added that the current international financial crisis shows that corruption "is no longer a domestic problem; it is a global one and needs an international response ".

Initially training senior officers, whose knowledge will have a trickle-down effect in their countries, the Academy will increasingly target candidates from developing countries,  eventually offering  them scholarships in modern investigative techniques.