At the right place at the right time: Coalition non-paper for COSP 3 in Doha

10 November 2009, by Andrea Figari.

Doha Chronicles, Day 2. And here is another edition of the Monitor from Doha. The focus for this edition was to highlight the positive experiences of other review mechanisms -as the debate is getting hot today and tomorrow. The point is to show that many countries here, including some of those blocking progress, are already being monitored under one or other anti-corruption or anti money laundering system. You will also see a big photo of our action “Spelling it out” which received local coverage in the Qatar times -but in a few other local and international newspapers.

A list of relevant links in the Media section of the Coalition’s website for future reference. As always, the Monitor is also saved in the resources section of the Coalition’s website.

Today we started our day with our daily Coalition meeting, welcoming Ms. Tuija Brax, the Finnish Minister of Justice -who was supportive of our work on protection of anti corruption advocates. She was very positively impressed to see so many Coalition members present in the room -well over 50 at the time- as we were a much smaller group at the 2008 CoSP in Bali. Surely Gillian will report later on the details about where things are standing today and where they are going -including some of the insights shared by Minister Brax.

Later today Tuesday, the Coalition also organized another action, inspired by a gadget brought by our friends from Global Witness, Robert Palmer and George Boden. They brought hundreds of plastic rattling teeth to Doha, with the inscription “Will UNCAC wind up toothless?” The idea was to distribute this to delegates as they came into their afternoon session, urging them to fight for a meaninful Convention, while displaying the Coalition’s slogan in Arabic and English -“Be accountable, be inclusive, go public” A few (downloadable) photos are available at the Coalition’s Flickr account.

As you will notice from the video, the noise produced by the “UNCAC teeth” was notable, and delegates were at first confused, but later amused. And they all wanted one pair of teeth -so all coalition members distributed rattling teeth to everyone who wanted one, including representatives of China! So much so, that Robert and George ran out of teeth! This was a brilliant and creative idea, and while it all took place in a cordial and fun atmosphere -we made sure that delegates understood our message as we presented them with the teeth! Well done GW!

Huguette Labelle, TI’s Chair, addressed the Plenary today. We have her speech in written and audio format, which will be available on the Coalition Website (Learn More/Library) tomorrow wednesday. At the same time, the Coalition will address the Plenary tomorrow -just in time to make our points, as negotiations are at a crucial debate on input from civil society. This is not only an excellent channel to convey our message -but to make it part of the official records, as the speech is recorded and registered.

Tomorrow will be a busy day. While some of us participate at the Civil Society Forum, an event we organize under the auspices of UNODC, others will be analyzing the latest draft of the agreement -which is being re-drafted by government delegates overnight, as I write these words. After seeing and analyzing the new version, we will be able to make concrete suggestions in a variety of ways: directly on face to face meetings, through a briefing paper, through a like minded government or via the “Monitor”- which will hopefully find a place in the final text to be agreed.

On other fronts, and to the delight of our increasing francophone membership, Nadia Balgobin from TI Switzerland has agreed to translate both Monitors into French, and these will be circulated by her tomorrow -and duly saved in the Coalition website’s library section.

This is all the news (and the energy) I have to share for today. Please feel free to distribute the Monitor as you see fit, or post images in your website to help disseminate what is going on here in Doha.