The Seventh Session of the UNCAC Implementation Review Group (7th IRG)
Vienna, 20–24 June 2016
Image: Creative Commons, Flickr / theclyde
The Implementation Review Group (IRG) oversees the UNCAC review process in order “to identify challenges and good practices and to consider technical assistance requirements in order to ensure effective implementation of the Convention”. It can submit recommendations to the Conference of States Parties (CoSP) for its consideration and approval.
The IRG sessions are open to UNCAC signatory states and intergovernmental organisations, but so far civil society organisations have not been permitted to participate as observers due to opposition from a small but influential group of countries. Instead of including civil society representatives in its meetings, the IRG holds a one-day Briefing for non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
The IRG will hold its 7th Session on 20-24 June 2016 at the UN Office in Vienna. The three main items on the provisional agenda are review of the implementation of the Convention including preparation for the second review cycle, the performance of the review mechanism, and technical assistance to enhance countries’ implementation efforts.
In previous IRG meetings, country representatives have discussed experiences of the first cycle of the UNCAC review process (2010-2015) and reviewed Chapters III (Criminalization and law enforcement) and IV (International cooperation). They have also begun discussions on the planned second review cycle (2016-2020), which will cover Chapter II (Preventive measures) and Chapter V (Asset recovery).
Written submissions by NGOs
NGOs have the opportunity to make written submissions to the IRG on key issues for the UNCAC. This year, written submissions were made by the UNCAC Coalition, Transparency International and the Batory Foundation, as follows:
- UNCAC Coalition statement: Best practices for victim representation and compensation
- UNCAC Coalition statement: UNCAC review process
- UNCAC Coalition statement: Countering laundering of corruption proceeds: Building on the momentum of the Panama Papers and the London Anti-Corruption Summit
- Transparency International statement: Curbing grand corruption and money-laundering and increasing participation of civil society in anti-corruption efforts
- Batory Foundation statement: Towards clean public procurement: How the second cycle of the UNCAC review process can limit corruption in public tenders
5th IRG Briefing for NGOs, 23 June 2016
Following civil society calls for participation, since 2011 the IRG has held a separate “Briefing for NGOs” for representatives of civil society. The purpose of the briefing is to provide information on the status of the review process and review discussions and an opportunity for civil society to ask questions and make representations on key issues.
On 23 June, the IRG will hold its 5th NGO Briefing, featuring three thematic panel discussions. As government representatives also attend the meeting, this is an important opportunity for engagement on NGO priorities for the UNCAC. The draft agenda of the NGO Briefing can be found here.
During the Briefing for NGOs, organisations are invited to make oral statements on key issues for the UNCAC.
As part of the Briefing, there will be three panel discussions on critical topics for the UNCAC and NGOs. These include:
Giving voice to victims in settlements and asset repatriation and through civil actions for damages
- Alisher Ilkhamov, Open Society Foundations, Asset recovery as redress for the victims of corruption in closed societies
- Marta Ruda, Anti-Corruption Action Centre Ukraine, Experience in victim standing and asset recovery
- Abiola Makinwa, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Giving voice to victims in negotiated settlements
Clamping down on the facilitators of corruption
- Rosie Sharpe, Global Witness, Eight reasons why we all need to be able to see beneficial ownership information
Opening up procurement: Transparency and civil society participation in public procurement processes
- Alice Gartland, Open Contracting Partnership, #Open Contracting
- Dr. Juanita Olaya, About open contracting
- Dr. Juanita Olaya, Corruption in public contracting: Change behavior, not rules
See the full 2016 NGO Briefing Agenda here.
Following the IRG meeting, presentations from the panellists will be uploaded to this page.