Specialists from over 50 countries gather up in Brasília to discuss ways of preventing corruption
The UNDP meeting will use the Rio+20 commitments as bases for discussion about the promotion of governance and institutional strengthening for sustainable development.
Brasília, 4 November 2012 – About 90 anti-corruption practices specialists from the United Nations Development Programme and partner organizations will gather up to discuss ways of preventing corruption at Mercure Eixo Hotel in Brasília on 5 and 6 November.
The UNDP 5th Global Meeting of the Anti-Corruption Community of Practice will do a round-up of the tendencies and challenges in the area. It will also help UNDP in defining the priority areas in the fight against corruption for the next two years.
The issue of institutional strengthening and promotion of governance towards sustainable development, commitments made by Member States during Rio+20, will be the bases for discussion.
Recent data show that corruption makes devastating impacts on development.
The estimated yearly cost of corruption reaches over 5% of the global GDP, the equivalent to 2.6 trillion dollars. In different terms, if it were a country’s GDP, it would be ranked the sixth largest world economy.
A study about illicit financial cash flow commissioned by UNDP found that developing countries lose ten times more money to corruption than what they get from Official Development Assistance (ODA), thus confirming the thesis that corruption acts as a considerable funnel for the efforts of poverty reduction and promotion of sustainable development.
“Corruption affects the poor disproportionately. It is one of the major barriers we face nowadays in the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs)”, says Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Associate Director of the Bureau for Development Policy and Associate Administrator of the UNDP.
“Corruption embezzles resources destined to basic social services, limiting the access of the poor to health, education and water.”
Because of the complexity of this phenomenon, the fight against corruption must be undertaken by means of prevention mechanisms and an integrated and multidisciplinary approach by governments, organizations and societies. For UNDP Anti-Corruption Community of Practice, the engagement and participation of citizens are essential for the fight against corruption.
In the words of UNDP’s Associate Administrator, “The participation of local communities, of civil society and the press is fundamental to monitor those practices.” He remarks that such a set of actions and positions favors the creation of a political, economical and social environment that encourages the elimination of corruption and the achievement of a development model that isn’t just efficacious and efficient, but also effective. “For that effect, it is necessary to strengthen institutional capabilities towards the use of transparency and financial accountability mechanisms in decision-making processes, on the allocation and implementation of resources, on the redress of grievances, as well as on fraud and embezzlement investigations”, says Martínez-Solimán. “Moreover, the private sector must also get actively involved in the promotion of transparency and accountability principles”, he adds.
Theme of the meeting
The theme of the UNDP 5th Global Meeting of the Anti-Corruption Community of Practice is “Learning from the Past – Planning Future Directions”. The conclusions of the MDG Summit and the commitments made at Rio+20 towards the promotion of governance will guide the discussions in Brasília.
The post-2015 agenda conducted by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also yielded important opportunities for discussing and setting directions for the matter of governance. UNDP specialists expect that Member States will touch common ground so as to include the essential governance pillars such as accountability, transparency and anti-corruption practices, as well as their direct consequences, in the agenda.
UNDP has been setting themselves ahead on supporting initiatives to the countries’ efforts to unhinge the barriers to governance. Such partnerships, especially those focused on the fight against corruption, have shown positive results in effectively achieving the Millennium Development Goals, as well as establishing sustainable development models.
The Brasília meeting will also be an opportunity for the organization to take stock of its anti-corruption initiatives and efforts in the past few years, as well as lessons gathered up by its professionals working in different countries and regions. Aside from that, the group discussions will help UNDP to more clearly define how to promote the empowerment of people and the strengthening of nations in their anti-corruption practices, especially concerning current challenges: illicit cash flow, fight against corruption in areas that are rich of natural resources, as well as citizen participation.
The UNDP 5th Global Meeting of the Anti-Corruption Community of Practice takes place on the eve of the 15th International Anti-Corruption Practice, also in the federal capital on 7 and 10 November 2012.
Additional information to editors:
About the Anti-Corruption Community of Practice
The group is comprised of specialists from UNDP country offices and centers, regional offices and the organization headquarters in New York. Representatives of key partner and donor organizations are also part of the group. The biennial group meetings have happened for almost a decade: Seoul (2003), Guatemala (2006), Athens (2008) and Bangkok (2010).
About the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)
Ever since coming into force in 2005, the Convention has promoted great advancements in the fight against corruption. Until July 2012, 161 countries had already ratified the Convention and taken steps towards the creation and implementation of anti-corruption agencies and policies.
UNDP takes up partnerships in all areas of society to help on the construction and consolidation of nations so that they are resilient to crises, sustaining and conducting growth that supports the improvement of quality of life for all. Present in 177 countries and territories, UNDP offers a global perspective allied to a local view of human development, making contributions towards the empowerment of lives, more strongly developed and resilient nations.
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