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International Anti-Corruption Day 2010

ANti-Corruption DayOn 9 and 10 December 2003, the United Nations Member States and international organizations were invited to sign the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in Merida, Mexico.

 Since then, 9 December is the International Anti-Corruption Day. At  last year’s International Anti-Corruption Day, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that it is the world's most vulnerable who suffer "first and worst" by corruption through malpractices such as the theft of public money or the misuse of foreign aid for private gain. These activities result in fewer resources to fund essential infrastructure building such as schools, hospitals and roads. Mr. Ban noted, however, that corruption "is not some vast impersonal force" but "the result of personal decisions, most often motivated by greed." Pointing out that "the UN Convention against Corruption is the world's strongest legal instrument to build integrity and fight corruption", he also called on businesses to adopt anti-corruption measures in line with the Convention.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. The Convention's far-reaching approach and the mandatory character of many of its provisions make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to a global problem. The text of the Convention was negotiated during seven sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Negotiation of the Convention against Corruption, held between 21 January 2002 and 1 October 2003.

The Convention approved by the Ad Hoc Committee was adopted by the General Assembly by resolution 58/4 of 31 October 2003. The General Assembly, in its resolution 57/169 of 18 December 2002, accepted the offer of the Government of Mexico to host the signing the United Nations Convention against Corruption at a high-level political signing conference in Merida.

In accordance with article 68 (1) of resolution 58/4, the United Nations Convention against Corruption entered into force on 14 December 2005. A Conference of the States Parties is established to review implementation and facilitate activities required by the Convention.

The UNCAC covers five main areas: prevention, criminalization and law enforcement measures, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange. The UNCAC covers many different forms of corruption, such as trading in influence, abuse of power, and various acts of corruption in the private sector. A further significant development was the inclusion of a specific chapter of the Convention dealing with the recovery of assets, a major concern for countries that pursue the assets of former leaders and other officials accused or found to have engaged in corruption.

The rapidly growing number of States that have become Parties to the Convention is further proof of its universal nature and reach. As of now, 148 Parties have ratified the UNCAC. At its last Conference of the States Parties (CoSP) in Doha, Qatar, in November 2009, the Conference also – for the first time in the history of UN conventions – adopted a peer review mechanism that monitors the implementation of the Convention in the respective countries.

Source: EPAC/EACN and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime



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