Civil Society links with Governments to Fast-track UNCAC Implementation in Latin America

 

Governments and CSOs speak together on whistleblower protection7 May 2019 - 25 civil society organizations' (CSO) representatives from 10 Latin American countries agreed on recommendations at the Civil Society Roundtable on Fast-tracking United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Implementation in South America and Mexico. The recommendations were presented and discussed at a high-level meeting by government agencies and officials from the region between 8-10 May in Cartagena, Colombia. The roundtable was organized by UNODC Civil Society Team, and co-facilitated by the UNCAC Coalition.

Focusing discussion on four thematic areas - integrity systems, corporate liability, whistle-blower protection and international judicial cooperation - civil society representatives emphasized that the region needs serious and coordinated anti-corruption action-plans. The picture insert showcases governments and CSOs speaking together on whistleblower protection.

The CSO recommendations adopted stated, "there is a lack of coordinated efforts with citizens to systematically strengthen commitments on integrity and anti-corruption. Such commitments need to effectively guarantee access to public information; protect journalists, activists and whistle-blowers; ensure the independence and integrity of the judiciary and control bodies as the basis of the rule of law; provide transparent records of suppliers and contractors to the public sector; and ensure robust monitoring and evaluation process by the States through clearly defined and measurable anti-corruption indicators."

During the high-level meeting, the need for several concrete measures was spoken at plenary, including civil society and private sector engagement in the fight against corruption.  The full list of CSO recommendations can be found here.

Additionally at the roundtable, a Latin America Anti-corruption e-Platform was launched to promote collaboration between CSOs, to identify partners, monitoring and promoting the UNCAC implementation and share best practises. This e-platform, along with three other e-platforms, are currently hosted on the UNCAC Coalition website.

Concrete actions and follow up initiatives by the CSOs in cooperation with their respective governments are expected to be carried out as a result of the plan of action finalized on the last day of the conference by government officials taking into account CSOs' contribution. CSOs will have opportunities to follow up on these recommendations  and report on progress at a CSO roundtable meeting in the region in 2020.