Spelling it out in Doha: Be accountable, be inclusive, go public

Doha, 9 November 2009.

Civil society spells out its demands for the Conference of States Parties of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) demanding accountability, participation and transparency.

Starting today representatives of the 141 countries that have signed up to the are arriving in Doha to decide whether to adopt a review mechanism that would give the treaty teeth.

Corruption undermines democracy, human rights and sustainable development. UNCAC, with its worldwide membership and wide-ranging provisions on transparency and accountability, has the potential to be the global anti-corruption standard.

However, a treaty is only as strong as its implementation, and this has to happen at a national level. Too often governments only pay lip service to their anti-corruption pledges. The success of the treaty will greatly depend on the adoption of an effective review mechanism, which will ensure that governments fulfil their obligations under the treaty. The review mechanism must include:

  • Full publication of country reports
  • Meaningful participation of civil society organisations
  • In-country review visits

There is broad support for these measures, but a few vocal countries are blocking. Without a robust review mechanism, the effectiveness of UNCAC will be severely compromised, with serious consequences for the lives of citizens around the world and for the credibility of governments that have signed up to it.

Governments have until Friday to decide whether UNCAC will live up to its potential as a global anti-corruption standard. Photos of this action are available for download on the Coalition’s Flickr’s page.