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UNIS/CP/724
23 November 2013

Biggest anti-corruption gathering about to begin in Panama

The Fifth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in Panama City (25-29 November 2013)

PANAMA CITY/VIENNA, 23 November (UN Information Service) - What Governments are doing to tackle corruption will be the focus of the world's biggest anti-corruption gathering in Panama next week as more than 1,200 participants attend the Fifth Session of the Conference of the States Parties (COSP5) to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

Corruption's devastating impact will be under the spotlight in Panama City as 168 States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption meet in Panama City from 25-29 November. Corruption is the single biggest obstacle to economic and social development around the world. Billions of dollars are lost from developing countries due to bribery and corruption every year. Corruption also feeds off weak governance and threatens the rule of law.

The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov said that weak rule of law and lack of good governance has hindered progress in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): "We can only succeed against corruption by making it clear that accountability and transparency are fundamental building blocks for achieving sustainable development."

COSP5 brings together more than 1,200 people from Member States, parliaments, inter-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector and the media to discuss how the United Nations Convention against Corruption is being implemented and how States can better tackle corruption.

UNCAC was adopted ten years ago and is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. Every two years the States Parties to the Convention meet to review implementation of the Convention and discuss how States can better tackle corruption.

Key events open to the media
The plenary sessions of the conference are open to the media. On Monday 25 November the high level opening will be addressed by the President of Panama Ricardo Martinelli and the Executive Director of UNODC Yury Fedotov.
There are a range of special events taking place in Panama City on various topics related to tackling corruption. For the full programme go to:
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/CAC-COSP-session5-specialevents.html

Monday, 25 November
Plenary: High level opening; discussion on international cooperation (10 a.m., Teatro Taboga)
Press conference with the Executive Director of UNODC Yury Fedotov (time tbc, Teatro La Huaca)
Special events on anti-corruption and the post 2015 development agenda; Institutional Integrity Initiative: the UNCAC as applied to the UN system

Tuesday, 26 November
Plenary discussions on international cooperation; prevention; resumed 4th session of the Implementation Review Group
Special events on safeguarding against corruption in the context of sporting and other major public events; StAR: 7 years of international efforts in support of the recovery of stolen assets; the future of national anti-corruption strategies in the Arab region; civil society event: the UNCAC review process taking stock and looking forward; designing corruption out of the system - workshop in business government dialogue and collective action

Wednesday, 27 November
Plenary discussions on prevention, resumed 4th session of the Implementation Review Group, asset recovery and international cooperation
Special events on preventing corruption in public procurement systems; the private sector role in the fight against corruption in a global business context; the EU anti-corruption report

Thursday, 28 November
Plenary discussions on asset recovery and international cooperation, and review of implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption and technical assistance
Special events on the importance of anti-corruption ethics and compliance: new tools by UNODC, OECD and the World Bank; NATO's building integrity programme in defence; partnership between public sector, private sector and civil society in the fight against corruption focusing on communication in the prevention of corruption: the human rights case against corruption: a panel discussion; development of national strategies to fight corruption

Friday, 29 November
Plenary session on review of implementation of the UNCAC and technical assistance

Webcasting
The plenary will be webcast and some other key events.  To see the webcasting live go to:  http://www.ustream.tv/channel/v-conferencia-transparencia

Factsheets
A series of factsheets in English and Spanish will be published during the conference on topics including corruption and development, overview of the Convention, major public events, illegal sports betting and match fixing, corruption and the environment and corruption and small medium enterprises.

Available for Media Interviews
Experts from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are available for interviews in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish and Russian.

Websites for further information
Further information for the media is available here: http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/events/2013/cosp5_panama_2013.html

For the official conference website with documents in all UN official languages go to: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/CAC-COSP-session5.html

The programme is available here: http://www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNCAC/COSP/session5/Cosp_5_Programme_WEB.pdf

For the Conference website of the Host Country go to: http://cospvpanama.com/eng/index-e.html

For more information on UNODC's work against corruption visit:  
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/corruption/index.html?ref=menuside

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For information about media accreditation contact:
Veronika Crowe-Mayerhofer
Mobile: (+507) 6800 0484  Email: press[at]unvienna.org

For further information about the conference contact:
David Dadge, Spokesperson, UNODC
Mobile: (+507) 6800 3353 Email: david.dadge[at]unvienna.org
or
Anne Thomas, Information Officer, UNIS Vienna
Mobile: (+507) 6800 2981  Email: anne.thomas[at]unvienna.org

Follow @UNODC on Twitter and join the conversation using #NoToCorruption and #CoSP5.