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Anti-Corruption Coordination Meeting Concludes In Vienna
VIENNA, 5 February (UN Information Service) Steps to improve information sharing and best practices across the United Nations and other partners in the fight against corruption have been discussed at an interagency anti-corruption coordination meeting in Vienna on 4 and 5 February 2002.
The UN Office of Internal Oversight Supervision (UNOIOS), UN Development Programme (UNDP), Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP), including Centre for International Crime Prevention (CICP) and UN Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), Council of Europe, Interpol, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Transparency International exchanged views and experiences on the current anti corruption activities and future plans of the various UN agencies and other key multi-lateral organisations.
Each of the participating agencies presented the initiatives they had been taking in assisting countries and organisations to fight corruption. There followed a discussion of the desirability for better coordination and cooperation in these efforts, a discussion on monitoring of international conventions, and a discussion on the current initiative to draft a UN Convention against Corruption.
The meeting concluded that there are clear advantages for the improvement of information sharing and increased cooperation and coordination in the delivery of assistance to countries and to organisations. These include avoidance of duplication and an ability to learn from the experience of others in exercises similar to those being undertaken. The capture of the necessary information will encompass both past and present projects and will be made available on a timely basis in a format discussed during the meeting. This information could be made available on the Internet on a restricted basis.
The participants agreed that this undertaking should be done in a step-by-step manner, starting with either or both of a particular area of activity or a small number of pilot countries. The countries should be those where most of the agencies represented at the meeting have been working. Full advantage of existing initiatives for the gathering and dissemination of information should be taken in order to avoid the duplication of effort. It would be beneficial to develop measurable indicators in order to determine the cost effectiveness and impact of this initiative. Possible impact indicators were: (I) increased levels of trust and cooperation between the participating agencies to be measured by the increased use of information made available through the programme, (ii) improved Value for Money (iii) increased donor participation (e.g. by bi-laterals).
Participants, after a discussion of recent developments concerning the development against corruption, expressed the view that the effective multi-lateral monitoring of implementation of such conventions was essential to underpin efforts being made by the agencies represented to fight corruption at the country and the grass roots level. The conclusion of a comprehensive UN Convention against Corruption could serve as a constructive point of reference for their efforts to assist State parties.
Participation by members of the UNOIOS was appreciated by other participants who shared the opinion that the continued participation of the agency is essential to the success of the efforts being made by the United Nations to counter corruption as high levels of integrity on the part of the institutions offering assistance is important as adding credibility to these efforts.
The meeting was the result of an initiative taken by Ms. Louise Fr?chette, the Deputy Secretary-General, who convened meetings in New York on United Nations coordination of anti-corruption activities on 2 and 26 November 2001. While it was agreed that ODCCP held the United Nations global legislative mandate on anti-corruption, it had become clear that there were a variety of anti-corruption initiatives by different United Nations agencies.
It was further agreed that it would be useful for ODCCP to foster coordination of these efforts and organise a broader interagency coordination meeting in Vienna, in connection with the First Session of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Negotiation of a Convention against Corruption from 21 January to 1 February 2002.
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