On November 5, UNODC and UNDP, under the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project, hosted with the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) a special event “6th Forum of Parliamentarians” aimed at mobilizing best practice implementation of UNCAC, held during the Sixth Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in St Petersburg, Russian Federation. There were 1,500 participants in attendance from 164 countries at the Conference.
Executive Director of UNODC, Mr. Yury Fedotov, delivered the keynote statement and highlighted the importance of partnerships, acknowledging GOPAC as an important partner in the fight against corruption.
The first panel on ‘Partnerships to Curtail Corruption in the Pacific’ focused on the engagement of Parliamentarians and the role that they can play to promote the ratification of UNCAC and contribute to its implementation in the Pacific region.
Experience was drawn on from the UNDP-UNODC Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project and GOPAC Oceania’s activities to illustrate best practices and common challenges, with the specific experiences of the Cook Islands and Kingdom of Tonga highlighted.
Pacific examples cited also included the recent conviction of 14 Vanuatu MPs on bribery and Leadership Code violations, and the need for Pacific Parliamentarians to address transparency in issues of gift-giving and codes of conduct.
The second panel on ‘Prosecuting Grand Corruption: Let us bring them to justice’ advanced GOPAC and Transparency International’s aim of pursuing international legal instruments and strategies to apprehend, prosecute, judge, and sentence perpetrators of grand corruption.
National and international measures to address grand corruption were discussed, as well as to ensure that remedies are provided to victims and the proceeds of crime returned, such as through the UNODC-World Bank Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative.
The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala was highlighted as an example of where grand corruption is being addressed.