UNCAC Review Transparency Pledge
The UNCAC Coalition is seeking sign-up by UNCAC States Parties to the UNCAC Review Transparency Pledge for the second UNCAC review cycle. The Pledge embodies a voluntary commitment to meet minimum standards of transparency and civil society participation in the UNCAC review mechanism.
In the negotiations for the UNCAC review mechanism, a group of countries successfully blocked the inclusion of transparency and participation elements. Consequently, the guidelines leave it at the discretion of countries to decide on the extent of participation and transparency in their country reviews. Furthermore, civil society representatives are excluded from the meetings of the UNCAC Implementation Review Group, which oversees the UNCAC review process.
This is inconsistent with international human rights standards and with the provisions of UNCAC itself. The UNCAC prevention chapter contains numerous references to transparency and recognises the importance of civil society participation in anti-corruption efforts.
Despite this handicap, most countries allowed some civil society involvement in the first cycle of the UNCAC review process, covering criminalisation, enforcement and international cooperation. Many also included transparency elements; as of October 2016, sixty-six countries had agreed to publish their full review report on UNODC’s Country Profiles webpage.
In subsequent negotiations ahead of the second review cycle, it again proved impossible to introduce transparency and participation requirements into the formal guidelines.
The second review cycle
The second review cycle started at the end of June 2016 and is due to continue for five years. About 40 countries each year will be reviewed on their implementation of the UNCAC chapters on prevention and asset recovery.
This second cycle will provide a critical opportunity for governments to demonstrate their commitment to transparency and civil society participation, by including these features in the in-country UNCAC review process and in international UNCAC discussions.
In order to promote best practice and highlight the countries that are leading by example in promoting transparency and civil society participation, we are asking governments to sign a Pledge with six corresponding principles.
The Pledge reads as follows:
As UNCAC State Parties, we hereby reaffirm the importance of transparency and public consultation in addressing corruption. We believe civil society can play a crucial role to prevent and combat corruption in our country. We believe civil society can contribute to successful implementation of UNCAC provisions, therefore we commit ourselves to follow the six Principles of Transparency during the second cycle of the UNCAC review process.
Principles of Transparency
- We will publish updated review schedules for our country review
- We will share information about the review institution or the coordinator (focal point)
- We will announce the completion of the country review indicating where the report can be found
- We will promptly post online the self-assessment and the full country report in a UN language, together with the executive summary in local languages
- We will organise civil society briefings and public debates about the findings of the report
- We will publicly support participation of civil society observers in UNCAC subsidiary bodies
- United Kingdom
- United States
What you can do
We are convinced that it is impossible to fight corruption from behind closed doors. If you agree, please join with us and encourage your government to sign the Pledge.