Workshop: UNCAC Self-Assessments: Going Beyond the Minimum
Samuel De Jaegere – Policy Analyst Anti-Corruption – UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre &
Gillian Dell – Programme Manager Conventions – Transparency International
The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) has become a rallying point across the world for efforts to combat corruption since its entry into force in 2005. However, many argued the UNCAC would remain toothless, unless its implementation would be reviewed by States parties. In a bold step precisely one year ago (on 13 November 2009), the Conference of States parties adopted the Mechanism for the Review of Implementation of the UNCAC (UNCAC Review Mechanism) at the Conference of States parties in Doha, Qatar.
Every State party is now expected to be reviewed over a period of ten years (2010-2020) during two successive five-year review cycles. Each State party will be peer-reviewed by two other State parties. The first step in the Review Mechanism consists in the State party undertaking an UNCAC Self-Assessment. Countries will be reviewed on two chapters of the Convention in the first five year cycle. At a minimum the State party must fill out the UNCAC Self-Assessment checklist using the software developed by UNODC for these two chapters.
However, the Conference of States Parties also called upon States parties under review to endeavour to prepare their responses to the comprehensive self-assessment checklist through broad consultations at the national level with all relevant stakeholders, the private sector, individuals and groups outside the public sector. In this sense, it’s recommended to go beyond the minimum requirements of the UNCAC Review Mechanism.
Past experiences with UNCAC Gap Analyses in many countries – for example, in Indonesia, Bangladesh and Kenya – have shown that integrating UNCAC normative standards into domestic legislation and national policies is best achieved through local ownership, genuine commitment, publicity of the process, and multi-stakeholder participation. In these countries, civil society has provided critical inputs in the UNCAC Gap Analyses. In other countries, civil society organizations have also undertaken parallel gap analysis reports. This workshop will highlight some of these lessons learned from the past.
In addition, the workshop will share some recent experiences from Mongolia, Nigeria, Morocco and Bhutan. Mongolia and Morocco are among some 30 countries selected to be reviewed in the first year of the UNCAC review cycle (2010-2011). In these countries UNCAC Self-Assessment Reports have been prepared by government and/ or civil society reviewing the extent to which their national institutions and policies comply with the requirements of UNCAC. The process, findings and impact of these assessments will be critically reviewed at this workshop. The workshop aims to stimulate more open, transparent, public and participatory UNCAC Self-Assessment processes in countries under review.
The workshop will address the following questions:
(1) Which countries are required to submit an UNCAC Self-Assessment?
(2) What is the review process for countries under the UNCAC Review Mechanism?
(3) How can UNCAC Self-Assessments/UNCAC Gap Analyses contribute to national anti-corruption reforms?
(4) What lessons can be learned from past UNCAC Gap Analyses processes?
(5) What has been the impact of UNCAC Gap Analyses on national policies and programmes?
(6) Why is participation and transparency important in relation to government self-assessments?
(7) How can governments best be inclusive and transparent?
(8) How can civil society input most effectively?
Moderator: Pauline Tamesis – Democratic Governance Practice Leader – UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre
Rapporteur: Laurent Pouget – Legal Programme Specialist – UNDP Lao PDR
Giovanni Gallo – Crime Prevention Expert – UNODC
Manzoor Hasan – Director of the Institute of Governance Studies – BRAC University – Bangladesh
Jesse Wachanga – Head of Legal Research and Documentation Department – Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission
Dasho Neten Zangmo – Chairperson Anti-Corruption Commission – Bhutan
Lilian Ekeanyanwu – Head TUGAR – Nigeria (TBC)
Kamal Mesbahi – Professor of Economics, University of Fes, and Member of Transparency International – Morocco