New report on strengthening the UNCAC Implementation Review Mechanism (IRM)

16 December 2021 –

The UNCAC Coalition has published new report showing that strong and urgent action is needed to strengthen the Implementation Review Mechanism (IRM). The report examines the shortcomings of the IRM with a particular focus on how States Parties are implementing Article 13 of the Convention. At a time of global crisis and declining democratic freedom, a robust review mechanism is crucial to ensure the credibility and effectiveness of the UNCAC.

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 The IRM’s main shortcomings are: 

  1. The need for greater inclusiveness: Despite Article 13, the principle of inclusiveness is not consistently applied in the review process or at global UNCAC fora. Our analysis found that minimal to no information on stakeholder engagement is disclosed in the majority of country review documents, making it difficult to know the extent to which independent civil society and other stakeholders are engaged. 
  2. Lack of meaningful transparency: States Parties are not required to publish critical information and documents such as country reviews. Only half of States Parties have voluntarily published their full country reports from the 1st review cycle and merely 20 States Parties so far have published them for the 2nd review cycle. 
  3. Lack of a clear follow-up process: Unlike other anti-corruption monitoring mechanisms, the IRM has no formal follow-up procedure in place to assess progress with implementing country review recommendations. Only 38 countries out of 188 States Parties have published follow-up actions for the 1st review cycle and only one country has published them for the 2nd cycle.
  4. Stronger Article 13 implementation: Our analysis of country review documents for the 2nd review cycle found that half of country reviews include recommendations to improve Article 13 implementation, many of which are focused on strengthening civil society engagement in UNCAC implementation.

The report recommends the following key actions by States Parties to create a more inclusive, transparent and effective Review Mechanism that enhances global efforts to prevent corruption:

  • Provide public access to country review reports and other critical information related to the review process;
  • Carry out inclusive and transparent country reviews to proactively engage civil society and non-governmental stakeholders at key stages of the review process, including in the follow-up process;
  • Adopt a  formal and transparent follow-up process to assess States Parties’ progress  on implementing country review recommendations;
  • Promote the meaningful and active engagement of civil society and other stakeholders in UNCAC implementation and ensure a safe and enabling environment for them to carry out anti-corruption work.

Click here to view and download the full report.