COSP 3 Coalition Statement 2009: Coalition calls for effective UNCAC review mechanism

9 November 2009.

United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)
Third Conference of States Parties (COSP)

CSO Coalition Calls for Adoption of Effective Review Mechanism at the Third COSP, Doha, 9-13 November 2009
  1. Corruption undermines democracy, the rule of law, human rights, civil liberties and sustainable development. The UNCAC Coalition (the Coalition) believes that the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), with its worldwide membership and comprehensive anti-corruption framework, is key to dealing effectively with global corruption. In its many provisions on transparency and accountability, the UNCAC includes measures that, if implemented, will contribute to preventing a recurrence of the current global financial crisis.
  2. The Coalition is convinced that UNCAC’s success in reducing corruption on-the-ground will depend greatly on the adoption of an effective and participatory review mechanism at the Third Conference of the States Parties (COSP) in Doha, in November 2009. Such a review mechanism is also vital for the success of UNCAC’s landmark provisions on asset recovery and the assessment of countries’ technical assistance needs, as well as for strengthening international cooperation and enhancing the responsiveness of governments to their citizens.
  3. The Coalition considers that the review mechanism should be comprehensive, covering both mandatory and non-mandatory articles, and including the following features:
    • supported by a well-resourced secretariat;
    • assisted by a group of independent experts;
    • based on tested review methods, including peer review and country visits;
    • participatory, involving civil society organisations and other stakeholders;
    • transparent, resulting in published country reports with recommendations;
    • carried out in coordination with regional review mechanisms;
    • funded from the regular UN budget or assessed contributions, supplemented as needed by voluntary contributions.
  4. The Coalition is convinced that the effectiveness of any UNCAC review mechanism depends on involvement of civil society and its access to information about the process and its outputs. The Coalition reminds States Parties that they have committed to supporting civil society participation in anti-corruption efforts and to receiving civil society inputs to their deliberations. (UNCAC, Article 13; Rules of Procedure, Rule 17). The Coalition urges them to draw on international best practice in this area, as demonstrated by the review processes of other anti-corruption conventions (notably of the Council of Europe, the OAS and the OECD), all of which provide for civil society inputs and publish evaluation reports.
  5. The Coalition calls on Governments to ensure that draft terms of reference for an effective review mechanism are ready for adoption in Doha, in November 2009.
  6. Without a robust review mechanism, the effectiveness of UNCAC will be severely compromised, with serious consequences for the lives and livelihoods of citizens around the world and for the credibility of signatory Governments and the United Nations.