Over 1,000 people, including government officials, business leaders, law enforcement personnel, journalists, and entertainers from over 100 nations, convened today in Bali, Indonesia at the beginning of a five-day meeting of the Parties to the UN Convention Against Corruption.
The custodian of the Convention is Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).Â Giving his opening remarks at the meeting today, Mr. Costa reminded participants that “Corruption hurts us all, therefore fighting it is a shared responsibility – we all have a duty and the power to say ‘no’ to corruption.”Mr. Costa highlighted areas where UNODC, the World Bank, and others can provide technical assistance, particularly in the area of asset recovery, which is a key measure in the anti-corruption Convention.Â Mr. Costa warned that despite political will and good intentions, efforts to recover assets are running into resistance from “middle-level bureaucrats with connections, knowledge and entrenched interests who have a lot to lose.”
Mr. Costa said countries need to explain what they have done to fight corruption and implement the anti-corruption Convention.Â He also stressed that business should become part of the anti-corruption solution, calling on multilateral organizations to lead by example.
Implemented in December 2005, the UN Convention Against Corruption is the first and only legally binding anti-corruption treaty.Â It has been signed by 140 States and ratified by 107.Â The Convention requires states to prevent corruption, make it a criminal offence, cooperate in stamping it out, and return stolen assets.Â This week’s meeting hopes to create methods for evaluating the treatyâ€™s implementation.