To Malaysia and back: Three things I learned



Last month – alongside nearly 1,200 other anticorruption experts and practitioners from over 130 countries – I had the opportunity to go to Malaysia for the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC). UNDP was one of the main organizers and I was keen to bring the Romanian perspective following our work on the subject.

So what did I learn?

When IACC participants whisper in the room about your national partner, “He’s awesome!” – Priceless!

UNDP co-organized four workshops at the IACC, one of which focused on Recovering and Returning Stolen Assets.

The UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub partnered with OECDGIZ and the Basel Institute on Governancefor a session that discussed the challenges surrounding the asset recovery process.

Speakers included representatives of two key Romanian institutions in the field – Cornel Calinescufrom the Romanian Asset Recovery Office, and Anca Jurma from the National Anti-corruption Directorate.

They shared Romania’s experience and good practices in building the national framework, policy and capacities in recovering stolen assets and Romania’s experience in applying the extended confiscation in the asset recovery process.

While enjoying the session, a gentleman in front of my seat asked the lady to his left, “Who is this guy? He’s awesome!”

It was none other than our partner Cornel. I couldn’t have been prouder.

When civil society breaks big

The investigative journalism workshop was by far one of the most interesting sessions I attended.

It featuring mind-blowing stories and amazing speakers from The New York TimesThomson Reuters,Columbia UniversityRISE Project Romania, and others.

Paul Radu, one of the RISE Project Romania founders confessed:

“We achieve real results and generate real change with the investigative journalism we practice: Our US $6 million budget has led so far to over $1.2 billion in assets seized and frozen. So one of our investigations alone could fund 100 years of operations.”

Wow! This is the civil society we need!

By: Anca Stoica, UNDP’s Romanian ODA Project Manager

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