7 March 2023 –
The UNCAC Coalition and members join a dialogue with academia, youth representatives and civil society to exchange knowledge and create synergies on anti-corruption.
In the 20 years since the signing of the UNCAC, a tried and tested approach to fighting corruption is uniting different groups in society and around the world to effectively serve as a barrier to corruption. In a recent UNODC hosted dialogue in Mexico City, the UNCAC Coalition was happy to join members of the UNCAC Coalition’s network and representatives from academia and youth representatives in producing recommendations ahead of COSP10. Despite being the first time working together, they shared common drive to promote and preserve citizen participation, for example, in high-level fora like the UNCAC Conference of the States Parties, the UNCAC implementation review mechanism, and the follow-up to the UNGASS political declaration. 20 years after the signing of the UNCAC, in the country of its signing, civil society organizations, academia and youth representatives raised their voice about how to better integrate them in the fight against corruption.
The dialogue “Regional and global efforts to advance the anti-corruption agenda: dialogue for Latin America,” was the first of three regional meetings organized by UNODC, which took place from February 23 to 24 in Mexico City.
The UNCAC Coalition’s regional coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, Iñaki Albisu Ardigo, was invited as a speaker to share initiatives including the Transparency Pledge, the Guide to Transparency and Participation in the UNCAC review mechanism, and the Access to Information campaign. Iñaki also shared some of the regional initiatives undertaken by the UNCAC Coalition in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Many of the invitees had participated in the previous UNCAC related events, including UNCAC Coalition members and affiliates Semillas para la Democracia, Fundeps, Transparencia Mexicana, Fundación Ciudadanía y Desarrollo, Mexicanos contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad, Fundación Construir, Fundar, and Chile Transparente, who had participated in UNODC led regional meetings in Cartagena and Quito.
The main outcome was recommendations on how civil society organizations, academia and youth can make a greater contribution to the implementation of UNCAC and the UNGASS political declaration, and how their participation can be supported and scaled up to achieve greater impact. These recommendations included thematic areas, action points and desired outcomes.
In Latin America, civil society organizations developed recommendations based on five key thematic areas:
- Proactive and passive transparency and access to knowledge,
- Promotion of collective anticorruption actions,
- Strengthening the capacity and guaranteeing the legitimacy of civil society organizations,
- Protection of whistleblowers,
- Electoral integrity as a pillar for democracy.
Recommendations will be compiled and synthesized with other regions, in order to present a global set of recommendations.
In the opinion of Iñaki Albisu Ardigo and many of the UNCAC Coalition member organizations present, the overall process was promising; the recommendations were developed by participants accurately reflect the main concerns of civil society in a world where civic space is shrinking . The continuation of UNODC events held in Cartagena and Quito, and now Mexico City, are key to accurately integrating the pressing demands of civil society in regional and international agendas. The organizers and participants both agreed that more preparatory work should be done virtually, and both agreed that a virtual follow-up to the February meeting later in the year would allow more organizations to participate. Future events should aim to include as many civil society organizations in a hybrid capacity, while also allowing for the rich, creative spaces that in-person events create. Spaces for synergies between civil society organizations, academia, and youth representatives must exist, but should not aim to replace or eclipse spaces that each of these groups have forged in the past.
The UNCAC Coalition looks forward to seeing the global recommendations and continuing dialogue with our members and new partners in the region. It is critical to gauge the voice and the points of view of civil society organizations, academia and youth ahead of this year’s 10th Conference of the States Parties and after 20 years of the UNCAC’s signing.