Tuesday, 09 December 2014 12:54

“Break the Corruption Chain” UNODC Commemorates International Anti Corruption Day

Today the world commemorates the International Anti Corruption Day. On this Day, 9 December, 11 years ago, the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), was first opened for signature and adoption by Member States of the United Nations, in Mexico.  The Convention named the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as the custodian of UNCAC.   UNODC has been working with Member States to adopt UNCAC's measures, strengthen their national laws, build their national consensus and capacities to fight corruption. 

A decade after its adoption, UNCAC stands out as the most relevant legally binding treaty, the universal foundation for countering and preventing corruption around the world. Many concrete steps have been taken by the global community to fight corruption and much has been achieved. Yet, much more remains to be done.
Corruption remains a complex phenomenon affecting countries across social, political and economic boundaries. Fighting corruption in all its forms, such as bribery, embezzlement, extortion, or trading in influence, nepotism, etc., remains a priority for Iraq, for UNODC, and the international community.
In the Middle East and North Africa, following the political transformations in the region initiated by popular demands for transparency and justice, countries have progressed in reforming the judiciary, governance and law enforcement. Notable increase in citizen participation to fight and report corrupt practices has been witnessed and businesses have taken action to boost their ethical behavior and procurement rules.
UNODC Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa has been working with national partners in the region, and through the technical assistance of UNODC, countries in the MENA region have been steadily implementing the principles and values enshrined in the Convention. Our joint efforts stemming from the Regional Programme that all Arab countries have endorsed, have lead to adoption and implementation of a number of anti corruption strategies across the region, to enhanced capacities of specialized anti corruption bodies, has promoted the criminal justice responses to investigation, prosecution and adjudication of serious corruption cases and has fostered inter agency and international cooperation in criminal matters and recovery of stolen assets.

In Egypt, UNODC provided specific training and expertise to 50 public officials on the corruption prevention issues such as access to public information, asset declarations, effective anti corruption policies, and more than 180 national officials were offered the assistance in drafting and training on implementation on Codes of professional conduct in public service and judiciary.

In 2014, with the ratification of UNCAC by the State of Palestine and Sudan, all the countries of the region covered by UNODC Regional Office are now State Parties to the Convention. We have been working with regional partners promoting information sharing across borders, encouraging cooperation among nations in the region, and sending the message that values such as integrity, accountability, governance and transparency must prevail in our societies. 

In Iraq, UNODC assisted the Government through training of public officials on anti-money laundering and financial investigations throughout 2014. Iraq’s efforts to prevent corruption were also documented in a report shared with delegates to the UNCAC Intergovernmental Working Group on the Prevention of Corruption in September. In November, special assistance in asset recovery was provided to Iraq during the Arab Forum for Asset Recovery held in Geneva, and UNODC is planning to extend this assistance in 2015 through the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR), a joint program between UNODC and the World Bank.

Today, we, as partners, mark the International Anti Corruption Day. For, indeed, fighting corruption effectively requires a partnership of all stakeholders, not only the government but also civil society, the youth, women, the media, among others.  “Break the Corruption Chain”, this year's theme, is a clear message, capturing the need for us to form partnerships, work together, to raise awareness in societies about corruption, to report it, to prosecute it, to punish it, to deter it, and to ensure integrity and accountability for the benefit of all citizens and governments.  Only then, can economic prosperity, equality and justice for all.

UNODC re-affirms its commitment to assist all countries and support their efforts in achieving their nations' goals and the world's aspirations under UNCAC.

For more information: Please contact:
Brian Mau            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  +971501932531
Zorana Markovic This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +201069277710

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNAMI
Last modified on Tuesday, 09 December 2014 13:20

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