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UNIS/CP/418
9 July 2002

Colombia Launches Anti-Corruption Programme

VIENNA, 9 July - The Government of Colombia, in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP), is launching a new programme to fight corruption. The eighteen-month programme, with a budget of US$500,000, will be implemented in coordination with the World Bank, USAID and UNDP.

Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of ODCCP, and Ambassador H?ctor Charry Samper, the Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations (Vienna), today signed a project agreement, under which the United Nations will provide technical expertise to assist the Government of Colombia in its fight against corruption.

At the signing ceremony, Mr. Costa stated: "Corruption is depleting the coffers of many countries around the world. The project launched in Colombia provides an opportunity to test new tools and approaches to combating corruption at the global level."

Ambassador Samper said: "Corruption must be combated by fostering transparency and integrity. The cooperation of international organizations, media and civil society, banking institutions and multinational corporations will be called upon, rejecting not only corruption in its different forms, but the prejudice that it is an invincible calamity to which people are condemned."

ODCCP?s Centre for International Crime Prevention (CICP) will carry out the project in cooperation with Colombia?s Presidential Programme against Corruption and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project is aimed at strengthening the rule of law at the national and sub-national levels.

The objective of the project is to increase the capacity and integrity of government institutions, including national prosecutors, through the implementation of integrated anti-corruption reforms in three pilot jurisdictions. By introducing focused preventive and sanctioning mechanisms, the project aims to strengthen anti-corruption efforts within the public and private sector nationwide.

On a global level, ODCCP is facilitating the negotiation of the UN Convention against Corruption, that should be completed by the end of 2003. Ambassador Samper serves as the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Negotiation of the Convention.

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