Why Is an UNCAC Reporting Procedure Essential?

30 October 2013, by Gabor Bathory.

A reporting procedure would be a valuable addition to the Review Mechanism for the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) because it would provide useful information for follow-up efforts on serious issues of noncompliance with the UNCAC.

Reporting procedures established in connection with other international instruments, such as human rights treaties, allow communications regarding non-compliance with convention provisions to be submitted by individuals, groups, non-governmental organizations, states or the private sector. In certain cases, they may enable a claim to be brought on behalf of someone else.

How would such a procedure help strengthen UNCAC implementation? It would offer a channel to submit reports about corruption cases and issues not being addressed adequately at national level. The body receiving the reports could hold discussions with governments about the issues raised, make recommendations and encourage better compliance with the convention. It could also compile and publish useful statistical information about the reports received.

A reporting procedure would enhance efforts by the UNCAC Conference of States Parties (COSP) to tackle corruption in the following important ways:

  1. Institutional weaknesses would be highlighted and could be discussed with the country to provide technical assistance;
  2. Valuable information would be gathered about the nature and incidence of corruption worldwide; and
  3. Injured parties could have an opportunity not available in their home countries to discuss issues with their governments at international level about how damages could be addressed.

The procedure could be instituted under Article 63 or through a joint initiative between the UN Human Rights Council and the COSP. In the latter case, a designated person or body could receive reports on UNCAC noncompliance and corruption-related violations of human rights.

The UNCAC Coalition recommends that the 5th COSP adopt a resolution mandating the UNCAC Implementation Review Group to draft terms of reference for a reporting procedure. More details could be worked out following consultation with relevant stakeholders; examples should be drawn from existing UN and other relevant international mechanisms.

About Gabor Bathory

Gabor Bathory is Global Outreach Officer in the Conventions Unit at Transparency International Secretariat.