UN examines anti-corruption

| 09/11/2009

(CNS): More than 1,000 delegates from 125 countries are meeting this week in Doha, Qatar, to review implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. According to a United Nations press release, the delegates represent countries that have signed the United Nations anti-corruption treaty. In his speech to the forum, UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa called corruption "the cause and consequence" of the financial crisis. He criticized governments for having allowed the system to get out of control, and financiers and corporate tycoons for turning their dealings into a free-for-all game.

Costa urged all states to use the UN anti-corruption convention as "a blueprint for restoring confidence in markets, businesses, and governments." He stressed that "corruption is preventable, not a fact of life, or part of business."

One of the main issues under discussion at Doha is the creation of a mechanism to review implementation of the treaty. "At the moment, corruption is in the eye of the beholder – there is no way to measure it," said Costa.

A review mechanism would, for the first time, enable states to see how effectively they are fighting corruption and identify where more progress is needed. The intention is to create a mechanism that is transparent, non-intrusive, inclusive and fair. "It must be a technical inter-governmental review to measure progress, not a game of name and shame," Costa added.

 The head of UNODC urged delegates to "seal the deal" on the review mechanism by the conclusion of the meeting on Friday.

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