03 June 2020 –
After an open call for input on its work and background paper from several different stakeholders, the UNCAC Coalition has made a submission to the High-Level Panel on International Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI Panel).
The FACTI Panel, an initiative of the President of the UN General Assembly and the President of the Economic and Social Council, is mandated to create evidence-based recommendations based upon current mechanisms and good practises related to financial and beneficial ownership transparency, tax matters, bribery and corruption, money laundering, confiscation and disposal of the proceeds of crime and the recovery and return of stolen assets. The Panel will present its final report in February 2021 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The UNCAC Coalition welcomes the eagerness of the Panel to engage with civil society to support the global effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Panel is an important strategic platform to encourage Member States to enhance existing legal frameworks, including international cooperation systems, and insure the implementation and longevity of past successes, particularly during the current global economic and health crisis.
In its submission, the UNCAC Coalition highlights several important issues relevant to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) for the Panel to include in its discussions and final report. The current COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be a challenging context to uphold and improve anti-corruption, transparency and accountability efforts, which are globally being hampered by emergency measures adopted by governments.
Therefore, the Coalition strongly advocates for better access to information for the general public. The current situation should not be seen by public bodies and corporations as an opportunity to camouflage corruption offenses. More than ever, official bodies and private companies need to be held accountable and rely on principles of transparency and integrity. To this end, the involvement of citizens is essential and is not to be undermined. Member States should strengthen the participation of civil society in anti-corruption efforts. This includes creating an enabling environment for civil society and involving civil society organisations in accountability processes at all times, while protecting vulnerable anti-corruption actors such as whistleblowers, journalists, or activists from retaliation.
The submission also addresses elements from Chapter V of the UNCAC on asset recovery, where the principles of accountability and transparency should prevail when managing assets to repair harm caused by grand corruption and compensate victims.
The UNCAC Coalition covers a multitude of other issues in its submission and strongly encourages Member States to uphold their commitment to the UNCAC itself and to fighting corruption, encouraging international cooperation and promoting the principles of accountability, transparency, and integrity on a global level.
You can find more information regarding the work of the FACTI Panel and its members here.