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Caritas supports international efforts for review of the UN Convention Against Corruption

Date

31 Aug 2009

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs

Brussels, 28 August 2009 - Caritas Europa has recently joined a group of 14 faith-based organisations in their call to the EU to strongly support the forthcoming review of the UN Convention Against Corruption. An important moment in this process will be the Conference of States parties scheduled in Doha for November of this year.

The group has sent a joint letter to the Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt who is currently chairing the EU Presidency listing five major demands:

* that the EU takes political leadership in negotiating a robust and transparent review mechanism at the Conference of States parties meeting in November

* that the EU develops a common position on the review mechanism and communicate this publicly as soon as possible

* that the EU Member States not having ratified UNCAC do so immediately

* that the EU Member States become fully compliant with UNCAC without delay and conduct participatory and transparent public reviews with regard to the implementation of their UNCAC obligations

* that the civil society participation in domestic and international UNCAC processes is supported and encouraged

The UN Convention Against Corruption is the first global treaty providing a framework to harmonise anti-corruption efforts worldwide

Caritas Internationalis also joint international efforts in calling for action on stamping out global corruption while a meeting of the UNCAC Working Group on a Review Mechanism was held in Vienna this week.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon over 50 faith leaders and agency directors said corruption is a major cause of poverty in developing countries and a major barrier to overcoming it. They said both rich and poor countries have a responsibility to deal with this issue.

Two essential elements for a credible and effective review mechanism are transparency and the participation of civil society. Therefore, the letter emphasises that "A review mechanism founded upon the principles of transparency and civil society participation is necessary in order to send a clear signal to poor communities that those they have entrusted with power and responsibility are ready and willing to end the scourge of corruption for the benefit of all”.

The UNCAC

The UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) is a landmark convention as it is the first global treaty ever that provides a framework to harmonise anti-corruption efforts worldwide. It was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2003 and signed by 140 states, and it is today widely recognised as the most promising initiative to curb the corruption. Among other things, the UNCAC requires from the complying governments to criminalise corruption offences including bribery and money laundering and to work together in cross-border law enforcement. It also calls on states to provide technical assistance in the field of anti-corruption to countries needing it.

However, in order for this convention to lead to real changes, an effective monitoring system needs to be put in place including a system enabling governments to regularly report on their implementation and receive feed back on how they are progressing.

For more information, please contact:
Blandine Bouniol
Policy Officer for International Cooperation
Tel: +32 2 235 26 55
bbouniol@caritas-europa.org

http://www.caritas-europa.org/code/EN/inte.asp?Page=966

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