Assembly of Parties: Update from Sharm El SheikhIACA’s sixth Assembly of Parties continued in Sharm El Sheikh on Tuesday with further deliberations among Member States, updates from IACA’s organs, national statements from high-level representatives, and two side events organized by the Administrative Control Authority of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

The newly elected President of the session, H.E. Mr. Omar Amer Youssef, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the International Organizations in Vienna (African Group), recalled that the Egyptian Prime Minister, H.E. Sherif Ismail, had granted his auspices for the hosting of this session “as a reflection of Egypt’s highest commitment to all international efforts against corruption and its appreciation, in particular, of the work of IACA”.

DSC 0086“It is a great pleasure to represent Egypt in heading the sixth session, and I am confident that participants here will cooperate fruitfully to make this important conference a success,” H.E. Mr. Youssef said.

IACA’s Dean and the Executive Secretary to the Assembly of Parties, Mr. Martin Kreutner, and the Chairperson of the IACA Board of Governors, Mr. Eduardo Vetere, both expressed their gratitude to the Arab Republic of Egypt for generously hosting the session and extended a warm welcome to the more than 40 delegations from around the world.

Speaking on Monday afternoon, Mr. Kreutner highlighted some of IACA’s activities and achievements since the fifth session of the Assembly in Vienna in November 2016. These included, among many others, the start of the fifth Master in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS) class on that very day, 2 October, and the upcoming IACA Regional Summer Academy - Middle East that will take place this December in Kuwait City.

The Executive Secretary also announced that IACA is formally launching its new PhD programme – the first international PhD in anti-corruption studies – with a small number of students to be enrolled by the end of 2017.

Mr. Kreutner stressed, however, that IACA cannot meet ever rising expectations with the means currently at its disposal and urged the Assembly to take tangible financial as well as political ownership of the organization, mentioning in this regard IACA’s new fee discount scheme for passport holders from Parties and for registered Alumni.

Referring to Article XI of the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization, the Executive Secretary said financial contributions to IACA – as opposed to donations – would enable a greater degree of budget planning. In this context he shared with Member States the idea of considering an Additional Protocol to the IACA Agreement that would allow for willing Member States to further describe and define their commitments.

DSC 0073In his report to the Assembly, Mr. Vetere said it had been a highly intensive and productive year for the Board of Governors, with three meetings including one immediately prior to this sixth session. He added that the Board had continued working on the draft of IACA’s next Work Programme until Tuesday morning in order to take into account and reflect, to the extent possible, the comments and suggestions made by Parties.

Mr. Vetere praised the leadership of the Dean and Executive Secretary and the efforts of IACA’s staff, and highlighted other achievements such as the further growth of the Academy’s alumni network to cover about 150 countries, and record demand for its customized “tailor-made” trainings.

However, the Chairperson emphasized that the new Work Programme cannot be fully implemented with IACA’s current level of human and financial resources, and in particular the huge shortfall in its general budget allocations. Ensuring financial ownership and participation among Parties and other stakeholders, stability of financial resources, and sustainability is therefore crucial to IACA’s future, he said.

Mr. Vetere also recalled the findings of IACA’s Independent External Audit for the budget year 2016, which concluded that the organization has sound financial management, that no misstatement of accounts or embezzlement was observed, and that the statements were prepared and expenses incurred in accordance with relevant rules, standards, and regulations.

At its meeting prior to this session, the Board appointed a senior auditor, director’s rank, from the Office of the Auditor General of Thailand, as one of the three independent external auditors.

Group Picture CopyAlso on Tuesday, the Administrative Control Authority of the Arab Republic of Egypt organized separate side events on “Reviewing Egypt’s Efforts in Executing the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2014-2018” and “The Role of Development and Organization in Preventing and Fighting Corruption”.

Speeches and other documents from this sixth session, which runs until 4 October, will be made available for download here.