Vienna, 8 November 2017 - The commitment of States to prevent and combat corruption at the global level is demonstrated by the successful operation of the review of implementation of the Convention against Corruption. The establishment and successful operation of this effective intergovernmental process is a significant achievement.
The Implementation Review Mechanism is a peer review process that assists States parties effectively implement the Convention. Each State party is reviewed by two peers: one peer is selected from the same geographical region and, if possible, with a similar legal system; the second peer is selected by drawing lots at the beginning of each year. The process consists of a self-assessment checklist, followed by a country visit or direct dialogue through joint meetings. The report is then drafted and finalized with the agreement of the reviewing States and of the State under review.
The review process is inclusive, impartial and non-intrusive. It does not produce any ranking and is non-adversarial and non-punitive. It follows a positive approach designed to bring out good practices and identify areas that need improvement.
More specifically, the objective of the review process is to assists States parties in the implementation of the principles of the Convention and is geared towards finding ways to foster and support national anti-corruption efforts. For example, the review process provides opportunities to share good practices and identify needs for technical assistance. In this spirit, the final product of each review usually includes recommendations, conclusions or suggestions made by the experts that are discussed and agreed upon with the country under review.
Many States have introduced new legislation to strengthen their anti-corruption framework following observations made during the review process. Such amendments covered a range of topics including the indirect commission of bribery offences, the criminalization of trading in influence, money-laundering, illicit enrichment and obstruction of justice.
Several States highlighted how their experience of being reviewed and acting as reviewers of other States had helped them gain insight into the good practices adopted by other States which they in turn have implemented domestically.
Some States underscored the importance of involving civil society and the private sector in the country review process to reflect the guiding principles of the review mechanism, in particular its intergovernmental nature.
The review mechanism and the work of the Implementation Review Group appear to have had a positive effect on transforming the global landscape in the fight against corruption. They have created a renewed momentum for States to ratify or accede to the Convention and furthered implementation of the Convention at the national level.
Information gathered through the Review Mechanism may also be a basis for assessing the achievement of the relevant Sustainable Development Goals as well as for establishing effective anti-corruption regimes.
A recent analysis performed by the Secretariat indicated that, in order to comply with the Convention, 86 per cent of States had amended their current laws. In addition, 74 per cent of those States found that the peer review system was very helpful in identifying shortcomings in their anti-corruption frameworks. Institutional structure and cooperation had also improved after undergoing the review process according to 60 per cent of participants, while 58 per cent indicated that the process had strengthened their domestic and international cooperation capacities. Lastly, either as a direct outcome of the first review cycle or in preparation for the second, 58 per cent of States provided information on measures taken in relation to chapters II and V.
As at September 2017, 160 States had completed their executive summaries under the first cycle. The Mechanism had had an impact on both high-income and least developed countries in all regions of the world.
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