How can the third year of the UNCAC review process be the most successful yet?

4 July 2012, by Marie Terracol, Transparency International.

Is the UNCAC Review Process meeting its objectives? How many countries in the first and second years of review delivered their reports on time? Has the process been transparent and inclusive?

The UNCAC review process moved into its third year on July 1. A review of the first two years indicates that while some positive achievements have been made, states must do more to meet deadlines and ensure transparency. Forty countries will be examined in the third year of review; it has the potential to be the most successful thus far.

UNODC progress on country reviews

Sixty-eight countries were scheduled to be reviewed between July 2010 and June 2012. To date, executive summaries of 19 country review reports[1] have been published on the UNODC website, with 49 still unfinished. During a briefing held for civil society representatives during the Implementation Review Group meeting on June 20, UNODC said that the reviews of all countries but one scheduled for the first year were being finalised, and that the executive summaries of their reports would soon be published. The status of the second year of the review process still remains unclear, however, with many reviews still outstanding as the third year of the process begins.

Transparency and inclusiveness

To assess the transparency and inclusiveness of the country reviews, Transparency International conducted a survey in 51 of the 68 countries reviewed. The survey found some progress: more than half the countries surveyed have accepted a country visit and input from civil society organisations. Some governments also have published their responses to the Self-Assessment Checklist, or at least shared them with civil society organisations.

Still, a lot remains to be done.Transparency and inclusiveness are key to guaranteeing an effective review process and thus ensuring the implementation of the UNCAC in the 160 States that have ratified the Convention. We call on the 40 countries scheduled to be reviewed in the coming year to engage civil society in the process. That is part of the commitment they made when they signed the Convention.

First results on country implementation and enforcement of the UNCAC

Several CSOs monitored UNCAC implementation and enforcement in their respective countries.[2] Their reports highlight insufficient access to information; inadequacies in country legal frameworks; and weaknesses in enforcement.

For more information, please see the report published by Transparency International and the UNCAC Coalition on the first year of the review process. A report presenting an overview of the first two years of the review process will be published.

  1. Australia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Indonesia, Jordan, Mongolia, Morocco, Sao Tome, Spain, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, Togo, Uganda and the United States of America
  2. Including in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Lithuania, Morocco, Mongolia, Peru, Ukraine, USA in the first year of the review process and Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Portugal, UK and Vietnam in the second year.