UNCAC CoSP 9: A summary of adopted resolutions & decisions

31 January 2022 –

At the 9th session of the UNCAC Conference of the States Parties (CoSP), 7 resolutions and 2 decisions were adopted (find them in full here). While CoSP decisions address procedural issues related to the organization of the conference, CoSP resolutions are mostly substantial and aim to put a spotlight on ongoing and emerging issues that pose challenges to the effective implementation of the UNCAC.

The resolutions’ operative paragraphs direct the work of the CoSP and its subsidiary bodies and also provide UNODC with specific mandates to advance work on specific issues. At the same time, although not legally binding (unlike the UNCAC itself), CoSP resolutions set standards and provide guidance to States Parties on specific anti-corruption measures that they are expected to take on the national level, to better implement the convention.

In this blog post, we present a summary of the operative aspects of all CoSP9 resolutions and decisions. Each resolution summary includes the following sections:

  • The aim of the resolution,
  • The list of co-sponsoring States Parties (the upcoming official  CoSP final report might include more co-sponsors),
  • An analysis of the operative paragraphs, including actions that should be taken by the States Parties, UNODC, and if relevant, the mandates that are given to CoSP subsidiary bodies.

Negotiated under the “Vienna spirit of consensus”,  CoSP resolutions are negotiated until all countries agree on the text and thus reflect the lowest common denominator, and in many cases include intentionally vague commitments that allow different interpretations by different States Parties.

Resolutions are solely negotiated by the States Parties of the UNCAC; civil society has no formal role in the preparation and adoption of resolutions and is not able to observe these negotiations.

While many operative paragraphs include caveats that recognize countries’ limitations and varying national legal frameworks, it is important to highlight that all CoSP9 resolutions were adopted by consensus, and all States Parties are expected to take actions to implement the commitments made therein. Moreover, the States Parties that initiated and tabled the resolutions, and States Parties that decided to join resolutions a co-sponsors, signal a stronger commitment to the issues dealt with in a resolution.

The role of civil society in promoting implementation

The “agreed language” and commitments made in these CoSP resolutions can serve as a basis for further advocacy efforts and should be monitored and followed up on the national and international levels.
Civil Society can play an important role in monitoring the implementation, and asking States Parties to deliver on what they have committed to when adopting these resolutions. In addition, CoSP9 resolutions include paragraphs that directly address the role civil society should play in tackling corruption, such as through awareness-raising or involvement in the provision of technical assistance.
It is thus useful to take a close look also at these paragraphs to gain a better understanding of the CoSP’s recognition of the role of civil society, and the contributions non-governmental stakeholders could make to support UNCAC implementation.
For a full overview of the UNCAC Coalition's CoSP 9 outputs visit the CoSP 9 dedicated webpage.