Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt), 17 December – The special event ‘Civil Society Champions against Corruption: Showcasing regional best practice’ at the Ninth session of the Conference of the State Parties to the UNCAC (COSP9) demonstrated best practice examples at the regional level from three continents, including hearing from a civil society-government pairing.
The Civil Society Unit have been supporting regional civil society networks since 2017, specifically in Latin America, South East Asia, Eastern and Southern Africa, to help in the implementation of adopted anti-corruption priorities. In 2021, regional coordinators have conducted an in-depth analysis with our civil society networks to assess contributions and provide future recommendations for the continuation of the platforms. Four reports were written for each of the regional platforms, based on responses from over 100 CSOs in 39 countries – available here: Southern Africa
, Southeast Asia
, South America and Mexico
and East Africa.
Regional Coordinator for Southern Africa, Obert Chinhamo, emphasized during the special event, that “this study reinforced the prominence of CSOs in support of the implementation of the UNCAC. It shows examples of how CSOs offer expertise, assist governments to coordinate anti-corruption programmes, and complement the work of ACAs that suffer from lack of funding, resources and expertise.”
Coordinator Cynthia Gabriel added, that “there are many good practises of civil society working with governments in the ASEAN region. In my country, Malaysia, following the change of government after 60 years, a new government engaged with civil society and private sector on developing National Anti-Corruption Plan (2019-2023), using the UNCAC provisions as its standard. However, overall, the results of the study show clear challenges, notably unsatisfactory engagement between governments and civil society in combating that together in a coordinator manner.”
A civil society-government pairing from Mexico spoke of their constructive partnership in both the UNCAC Review Mechanism and its Implementation. Jose Abel Rivera Sanchez, Director of ONG Contraloria Ciudadana para la Rendicion de Cuentas (CCRC), and Diego Simancas, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN, spoke of both the fruitfulness and necessity of such partnerships, despite not always agreeing on every issue. CCRC had participated in both the first and second cycles of the UNCAC Review Mechanism and continued to follow up through the National Anti-Corruption System in Mexico.
Richard Jones, head of the newly-formed Anti-Corruption and Illicit Finance Department at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, provided opening remarks. He conveyed the UK was rightly proud of its funding to this strong civil society component and commended all the countries involved in the Fast-tracking UNCAC Implementation project for their achievements in agreeing on common priority areas to take forward.