Vienna, 6 November 2017 - Welcome to the seventh session of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
With 183 States parties, this UN treaty is a remarkable universal, legally binding instrument to fight corruption, promote accountability and support progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
It is reinforced by a peer review mechanism that continues to prove its effectiveness.
At this session UNODC will launch the updated State of UNCAC Implementation Report, analysing all 156 completed reviews, and representing nearly all of the current States parties.
This report not only demonstrates the progress made by the review mechanism, but also presents the international community with a comprehensive overview of remaining challenges and existing good practices in the areas of criminalization and international cooperation against corruption.
According to an assessment of the review mechanism's impact so far, some 86 per cent of States reported that it has led to legislative reform initiatives, while 74 per cent noted its overall positive impact on national efforts to fight corruption.
The review mechanism has also encouraged more frequent exchanges in matters of extradition and mutual legal assistance, with the Convention serving as a legal basis for such requests.
Many States parties reported at least one request made and/or received under the Convention, underscoring the fact that UNCAC remains a living document and has become a solid foundation for international cooperation.
Moreover, the momentum created by the first review cycle has supported early preparations for the current cycle focusing on prevention and asset recovery.
To date, some 2,000 anti-corruption practitioners have been trained to participate in the reviews, creating a global community of experts.
Academia, the private sector and civil society are taking part, with 100 per cent of the reviews in the second cycle engaging with these stakeholders.
In line with Sustainable Development Goal 17, the peer element of the review mechanism has strengthened UNCAC implementation with a true global partnership that encourages mutual learning, high income and least developed countries alike.
The insights generated by the reviews can also help guide technical assistance delivery and monitor progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 16 targets to reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms, as well as reduce illicit financial flows and strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets.
These efforts are further supported by the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative, UNODC's successful partnership with the World Bank, which is celebrating ten years in 2017.
As guardian of the Convention and Secretariat to this Conference, UNODC continues to provide practical support here at headquarters and on the ground through our field presence.
The Office is engaged in a wide range of activities to strengthen UNCAC implementation and directly follow up to the resolutions adopted in St. Petersburg.
We are currently producing a guide on strategies for corruption risk mitigation at the organizational level, having tested a new approach with procurement and customs agencies.
As part of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, UNODC has initiated a Global Judicial Integrity Network to help strengthen integrity and prevent corruption in the justice system.
We are also working to promote integrity in other criminal justice institutions and will be launching a Handbook on Anti-Corruption Measures in Prisons this week.
Moreover, the Education for Justice Initiative under the Doha Programme is helping to build a culture of lawfulness among children and young people.
UNODC is leading anti-corruption work of the International Consortium to Combat Wildlife Crime.
We have developed and strengthened partnerships with the International Olympic Committee, the Asian Football Confederation, FIFA, and World Rugby to prevent corruption in sports.
The Office is also supporting work to prevent and fight corruption that helps to fuel violent extremism.
This week is an opportunity to build on the results achieved in St. Petersburg in 2015, and further advance global efforts to combat the crime of corruption, to strengthen the fight against the many other crimes enabled by corruption and to protect lives and livelihoods.
This session will take important decisions on the Implementation Review Mechanism, as well as consider resolutions addressing a number of critical areas of anti-corruption work.
I thank the President of the sixth session, Justice Minister Konovalov, for his hard work and dedication.
And I wish the President of the seventh session, Attorney General Aldana Hernández de López, every success in the week ahead.
For further information contact:
Information Officer, UNIS Vienna
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4949
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Phone: (+43 1) 26060-5629
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629