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UNIS/CP/878
 4 November 2015

Factsheet 3

Review Mechanism for the Anti-Corruption Convention

ST. PETERSBURG/VIENNA, 4 November 2015 (UN Information Service) -The commitment of States to prevent and combat corruption at the global level is demonstrated by the successful operation of the review mechanism for the anti-corruption convention. The establishment and successful operation of this effective intergovernmental process is a significant achievement.

First cycle of reviews

The first review cycle covers the chapters of the Convention on criminalization and law enforcement, and international cooperation. So far 120 States parties have been reviewed since 2010 when the cycle began.  The second cycle will cover the chapters on preventive measures and asset recovery.

As the first cycle comes to an end, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) undertook an analytical study entitled State of Implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which will be presented to the COSP in St. Petersburg.

The study is based on the unprecedented wealth of information that has been collected through the Review Mechanism. It identifies and describes trends and patterns in the implementation of the two chapters reviewed, on criminalization and law enforcement, and international cooperation. It also highlights successes and good practices as well as the substantial remaining challenges.

The review process

Each State party is reviewed by two other States parties, one from the same geographical region and to the extent possible, with a similar legal system. The process consists of a self-assessment checklist, followed by a country visit or direct dialogue through joint meetings. Then the report is drafted and finalized with agreement between the reviewing States and the one under review.

The review process is inclusive, impartial and non-intrusive. It does not produce any ranking and is non-adversarial and non-punitive.  It follows a positive approach and is designed to bring out good practices and identify areas where countries need to do more to implement fully the Convention.

More specifically, its purpose is to assist States parties in implementing the principles of the Convention and is geared towards finding ways to foster and support national anti-corruption efforts, for example by providing opportunities to share good practices and identify needs for technical assistance. In this spirit, the final product of each review usually includes recommendations, conclusions or suggestions made by the experts and discussed and agreed with the country under review.

Reviews highlight need for technical assistance

As more countries have completed their reviews, so a large number of technical assistance needs have been identified. Of the reviews completed so far, 59 have identified specific needs for technical assistance.

Based on the outcomes of the reviews, UNODC has supported 22 countries in drawing up national action plans as well as developing training programmes in 14 countries.

For example UNODC assisted the Iraqi authorities to address the shortcomings in prevention, detection and investigation of corruption on the basis of the outcomes of the review.  In El Salvador UNODC is about to commence a project focused on providing assistance to follow-up on the review recommendations to strengthen the investigation and prosecution of corruption and money-laundering offences and to enhance police, judicial and prosecutorial integrity.

The Review mechanism has also served to identify areas where tools are needed. For example the Resources Guide on Good Practices in the Protection of Reporting Persons, which is being launched during the sixth session of the Conference, addresses one of the gaps most often identified for technical assistance needs in country reviews.

UNODC has also produced a wide range of tools related to the prevention of corruption to assist the States to prepare for the second review cycle. One of these tools, National Anti-Corruption Strategies: A Practical Guide for Development and Implementation is being launched in St. Petersburg.

Outcome of reviews

Many States have introduced new legislation to strengthen their anti-corruption framework following observations made during the review process. Such amendments covered a range of topics including the indirect commission of bribery offences, the criminalization of trading in influence, money-laundering, illicit enrichment and obstruction of justice.

Several States highlighted how their experience of being reviewed and acting as reviewers of other States had helped them gain insight into the good practices adopted by other States which they in turn have implemented domestically.

Some States underscored the importance of involving civil society and the private sector in the country review process, to reflect the guiding principles of the review mechanism in particular its intergovernmental nature.

The review mechanism and the work of the Implementation Review Group appear to have had a positive effect on transforming the global landscape in the fight against corruption. They have created a renewed momentum for States to ratify or accede to the Convention and furthered implementation of the Convention at the national level.

Information gathered through the Review Mechanism may also be a basis for assessing the achievement of the relevant Sustainable Development Goals as well as for establishing effective anti-corruption regimes.

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Conference website of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC):
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/CAC-COSP-session6.html

Conference website of the Host Country: http://www.uncorruption.ru/en/

For further information for the media go to:
http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/events/2015/cosp6_2015.html

For further information contact:
Martin Nesirky
Spokesperson for the 6 th Session of the Conference of the States Parties
to the UN Convention against Corruption
Telephone: +43-699-1459-5676
Email: martin.nesirky[at]unvienna.org
or
David Dadge
Spokesperson, UNODC
Phone: (+43 1) 26060-5629
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
Email: david.dadge[at]unvienna.org

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