Nexus between Human Rights and Corruption - Further UN Recognition for IACA’s Work

IACA has once again been explicitly recognized in a UN resolution for its education and capacity-building activities in the field of anti-corruption and Human Rights, along with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Resolution 35/25 of the Human Rights Council of the UN General Assembly, adopted on 23 June 2017, recognizes that the negative impact of corruption on human rights and sustainable development can be addressed and prevented through anti-corruption education, and “notes with appreciation the capacity-building activities and specialized curricula developed by relevant institutions, such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the International Anti-Corruption Academy”.

The Council, whose 47 Member States are elected by the UN General Assembly, serves as an intergovernmental body within the United Nations system. It is responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them.

Since its inception, IACA has received prestigious recognition from numerous international bodies and other fora for its work in anti-corruption and compliance education and capacity-building. The organization was welcomed to the UN General Assembly as an observer in December 2013.

IACA’s work was previously noted with appreciation in Resolution 29/11 of the Human Rights Council, adopted on 2 July 2015. More details are available here.  

Afghan Ambassador Presents Credentials

On 21 November H.E. Ms. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the International Organizations (Vienna), presented her credentials to Mr. Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA.

Afghanistan acceded to the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization in March 2013.

Training for Slovak Students at IACA

IACA welcomed a group of university and graduate school students from Slovakia to its campus last week for a tailor-made anti-corruption training programme.

The aim of the two-day session was to raise awareness and provide an introduction to anti-corruption issues for the group. The programme included an overview of corruption in today’s environment as well as sessions on collective action and corruption in the media. Lecturers were IACA’s Elena Helmer and Abhishek Bharti, and Anthony Mills, Vienna Correspondent for France 24 and an independent communications and media consultant.

Study visits to the Austrian Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAK) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at Vienna International Centre were also part of the programme.

In September IACA and the Slovak Republic, represented by its Prime Minister, Mr. Robert Fico, signed a Letter of Intent that envisages closer cooperation in the areas of anti-corruption and compliance.

The two sides agreed to develop and implement joint activities, initially for a three-year period, to further empower anti-corruption and compliance professionals at the national and regional levels.

For more information on IACA’s tailor-made trainings, please click here.

Apply now: Regional Summer Academy - Middle East, Kuwait City, December

There are still places left on IACA’S Regional Summer Academy – Middle East which will take place in Kuwait City in early December, and which is co-organised by the Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha).

This exciting programme gives participants from countries in the Middle East region the opportunity to learn from global and regional experts and sharpen their anti-corruption skills. The interdisciplinary programme brings together leading professors and practitioners, and provides a platform to share experiences and network with peers from across the region, develop durable anti-corruption and compliance strategies, and apply this knowledge to their daily work. The programme will be delivered in English and simultaneous interpretation into Arabic will be provided. Participants will also join IACA's alumni network of professionals in about 150 countries.

This is the third of IACA’s successful Regional Summer Academies, and follows Academies in Argentina (Latin America Region, 2015) and Uganda (Eastern Africa Region, 2016).

The full programme is available here, and topics which will be covered during the six-day programme include contextualization of corruption in today’s environment, good governance, asset tracing and recovery, corruption across countries and cultures, corruption issues in the region, and international legal frameworks on corruption. The Regional Summer Academy – Middle East will also delve into anti-corruption in relation to public procurement, natural resources, and organizational integrity and ethics, as well as roles and responsibilities of anti-corruption agencies and risk management in integrity and compliance.

The programme is designed to provide important insights into corruption issues globally and regionally, and the lecturers – who come from eight countries – are Nadeem Anwer (UAE), Mohammad Buzubar (KWT), Badr El Banna (LBN), Robert Klitgaard (USA), Martin Kreutner (AUT), Yusuf Sidani (LEB), Yolanda Tayler (PAN), Muhyieddeen Shaban Touq (JOR), and Saeed Yassin Mousa (IRQ).

For more information on the Regional Summer Academy – Middle East and how to apply, please click here.

What? Regional Summer Academy – Middle East

When? 9 – 14 December, 2017

Where? Kuwait City, Kuwait

How to apply? Read more here.

Senior Chinese Delegation at IACA

A senior Chinese delegation visited IACA’s campus on Friday to discuss further cooperation in the areas of anti-corruption and compliance, including possible additional joint training activities for professionals from China and other Asian countries.

The delegation was led by Mr. Guo Kailang, Chief Inspector, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. He was accompanied by H.E. Mr. Shi Zhongjun, the country’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna. Other officials from the Ministry and the Permanent Mission in Vienna also attended the meeting.

Discussions covered a wide range of issues, including among others IACA’s academic degree programmes, open trainings, and customized “tailor-made” trainings. Previous joint activities include the China-ASEAN Anti-Corruption Workshop co-hosted by IACA and China in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, in November 2016.

China acceded to the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization in September 2014 and recently pledged financial contributions to help support the Academy’s future work.

Chinese anti-corruption and compliance practitioners have participated in many of IACA’s programmes and trainings, including the Master in Anti-Corruption Studies. In addition, IACA also has frequent visiting faculty members from China and is looking to further strengthen its existing links of cooperation with some of the country’s universities.

2017 - 2019 Master in Anti-Corruption Studies Begins

The fifth class of the Master in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS) has been at IACA’s campus for the last two weeks for its first module in the two-year programme, the in-class part of which ran from 6 to 17 November. IACA is pleased to welcome our new students with professional backgrounds as diverse as their countries of origin.

The class includes, among others, experts in business management and law, a journalist, prosecutors, investigators, government officials, officers of international organizations, auditors, and lawyers. The students come from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, India, Jordan, Liberia, Malawi, Mexico, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Uganda, the United States of America; and Kosovo.

This first of seven modules in the MACS 2017 – 2019 programme covers Concepts and Issues in Corruption. It addresses general topics related to corruption and corruption control, organizational misbehaviour, and the politics of corruption and reform. The class also visited the Seventh Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which took place in Vienna last week.

The lecturers were Professors Michael Johnston (USA) and Jeroen Maesschalck (Belgium), and Drago Kos (Slovenia), Chair of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions. In addition, Margret Steixner, an intercultural trainer and coach, led a teambuilding session with the class.

The MACS is a two-year, in-career programme consisting of seven modules and a master’s thesis and is specifically designed for working professionals. Applications are now open for the next class starting in autumn 2018.

For more information on the MACS, please click here.

Time for Fresh Thinking on Anti-Corruption

The anti-corruption community is in danger of becoming an echo chamber with too much consensus and not enough debate, Michael Johnston, Distinguished Professor at IACA, said at an event co-organized by IACA and the US Embassy in Austria on Monday.

In a wide-ranging lecture in Vienna on anti-corruption since the end of the Cold War, Prof. Johnston noted that despite changing attitudes towards corruption and greatly increased efforts to combat it, the last three decades have seen “high hopes, indifferent results”.

“It’s been a very exciting time but also frustrating. After 30 years the number of success stories is depressingly few,” he observed. “I would encourage the anti-corruption movement to take a step back, catch its breath, and do some fresh thinking.”

Prof. Johnston, who is also Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Colgate University in the United States, pointed to several common shortcomings in current anti-corruption efforts around the world.  

These include a “one-size-fits-all” approach to different countries and regions, and a “zero-tolerance” policy that can become counter-productive when the costs of additional anti-corruption measures outweigh the benefits.

Moreover, he continued, too many anti-corruption actions deal with symptoms instead of systemic problems, or make general appeals to civic virtue that fail to address citizens’ direct interests. Furthermore, corruption is often seen as a purely national trait when it is more often an international or sub-national phenomenon.

“By looking at corruption just as a national thing we’re missing about 95% of what’s important and interesting,” he asserted.

Prof. Johnston said more anti-corruption efforts should be linked to specific areas in which people have a direct stake, such as improving schools, police forces, public utilities, and permit issuance.

In addition, and despite the importance of local context, countries can learn from success stories elsewhere. Finally, he urged the audience to remember that fighting corruption is a long-term process that needs more than two or three years to yield significant results.

“Let’s remember the value of contention – about who will govern, how, and within what limits. Let’s be a bit more tolerant of the political. And let’s realize the full complexity of bringing greater justice to a society,” he concluded.

The lecture was followed by questions from the audience that addressed the links between corruption and issues including security, social media, money-laundering, and bitcoin.

Prof. Johnston also lectured at IACA last week to the new 2017 – 2019 Master in Anti-Corruption Studies class.

IACA's side events at Seventh COSP to the UNCAC

IACA's two well-attended side events at the Seventh Session of the Conference of the States Parties (COSP) to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) brought together expert global speakers, who provided key insights on anti-corruption compliance and collective action and cybercrime to Conference delegates.

With a panel of professionals from diverse sectors, IACA on Wednesday 8 November hosted a discussion on current trends and challenges in compliance and collective action. Some of the key issues covered by panellists included the need for NGO-specific compliance programmes and how sharing best practices can support civil society actors and enhance compliance culture, and the potential to leverage inter-agency cooperation in the public sector to support collective action. Speakers also emphasized the importance of management culture in addition to policy frameworks in ensuring compliance.

Panel members were Gemma Aiolfi (Basel Institute on Governance), Heike Böhme (SOS Children's Villages International), Caroline Nicholas (United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, UNCITRAL Secretariat) and Sabine Zindera (Siemens AG), as well as the main discussant, Navin Beekarry (Independent Commission Against Corruption, Republic of Mauritius).

The second side event, organized by IACA and INTERPOL and held on Thursday 9 November, covered corruption and economic crime in cyberspace. Speakers looked at the use of cyberspace for financial fraud, corruption, and moneylaundering, new actors, forms, and compliance challenges arising out of e-money and alternative payment methods, and international cooperation and initiatives to build a stringent cybersecurity framework to counter corruption and other economic crimes in cyberspace. Expert panel members were Sebastian Bley (INTERPOL General Secretariat), Eduard Ivanov (IACA), Oliver Völkel (Stadler Völkel Rechtsanwälte GmbH) and Joachim Wenz (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe). 

The bi-annual Conference of the States Parties to the UNCAC concludes on Friday 10 November, and Resolutions and related documentation will be published here.

Lecture in Vienna on the Anti-Corruption Agenda After 30 Years

Michael Johnston, Distinguished Professor at IACA and Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, at Colgate University, will speak in Vienna on Monday 13 November on the anti-corruption agenda after thirty years in a lecture co-organised by IACA and the US Embassy in Austria.

Introductory remarks will be given by Nicole Shampaine, Chargé d’ Affaires of the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna, and Prof. Johnston will discuss the timeline and evolution of anti-corruption efforts worldwide since the end of the Cold War, including persistent problems in the international anti-corruption agenda and prospects for the future. 

IACA and the US Embassy in Vienna extend a warm welcome to the event. For more details and registration, please contact

When: Presentation and discussion

What: Monday, 13 November 2017, 18.00

To RSVP and for more details:

IACA Signs MoU with Supreme Court of Justice of Honduras

IACA and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Republic of Honduras signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Friday that paves the way for closer mutual cooperation in fighting and preventing corruption.

The MoU sets the framework for future collaboration between the two institutions across a range of joint projects, meetings, exchanges of information, and other activities in the areas of anti-corruption and compliance.

It was signed at IACA’s Laxenburg campus by Mr. Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary, and Mr. Rafael Bustillo Romero, Chair of the Supreme Court’s Criminal Chamber.

IACA and Egypt Discuss Further Cooperation

A high-level delegation from the Arab Republic of Egypt visited campus on Tuesday to discuss details of further cooperation following the successful sixth session of IACA’s Assembly of Parties in Sharm El Sheikh last month. Egypt, representing the African Group, holds the Presidency of this session of the Assembly.

The Egyptian delegation was led by H.E. Mr. Mohammed Erfan, Minister and Chairman of the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and also included H.E. Nabil Sadeq, the Egyptian Prosecutor General, H.E. Hesham Badawy, Chairman of the country’s Accountability State Authority, H.E. Ahmed Saied Khalil, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Egyptian Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Combating Unit, and H.E. Mr. Omar Amer Youssef, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the International Organizations in Vienna.

Among other issues, the meeting discussed concrete steps towards implementing some of the ideas for jointly preventing and fighting corruption envisaged under the memorandum of understanding that IACA and the ACA signed in Sharm El Sheikh.

In addition, both IACA’s Dean and Executive Secretary, Mr. Martin Kreutner, as well as the Chairperson of the organization’s Board of Governors, Mr. Eduardo Vetere, thanked the ACA and Egypt’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs for their excellent cooperation with and assistance to IACA in preparing the recent Assembly of Parties, and once again expressed the organization’s gratitude for the hospitality shown by Egypt as the host country.

Mr. Kreutner then gave an update on the very latest developments at IACA, including the fifth Master in Anti-Corruption Studies class coming to the Laxenburg campus for the first time on Monday (6 November), and the new business-oriented International Master in Anti-Corruption Compliance and Collective Action starting soon.

The recent Assembly of Parties saw the unanimous adoption of seven resolutions, including the organization’s new Work Programme 2017 – 2020. The adopted resolutions, speeches, and other documents from this session are available here.

IACA to Emphasize its Continued Commitment to the UNCAC

IACA will reiterate its firm commitment to advancing the goals of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) at a major global conference in Vienna next week.

The Seventh Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the UNCAC, which is taking place from 6 to 10 November at the Vienna International Centre, will bring together participants from governments, regional and intergovernmental organizations, civil society, and the private sector.

Martin Kreutner, IACA’s Dean and Executive Secretary, will address the high-level segment of the Conference. He will emphasize how the organization’s education, training, research, capacity-building, technical assistance, and awareness-raising activities contribute to the further implementation of the UNCAC by empowering anti-corruption and compliance professionals around the world.

In addition, IACA is hosting two side events within the framework of the Conference and invites all participants to join.

The first panel discussion, on 8 November, will focus on “Development of Anti-corruption Compliance and Collective Action: Modern Challenges and Trends,” featuring speakers from the UNCITRAL Secretariat, Basel Institute on Governance, SOS Children’s Villages International, and Siemens.

The second event, on 9 November, is jointly organized by IACA and INTERPOL and takes the theme of “Corruption and Economic Crime in Cyberspace”. Panellists include practitioners and academics from IACA, INTERPOL, the OSCE, and Stadler Völkel Rechtsanwälte GmbH.

The States Parties to the UNCAC meet every two years to review its implementation and discuss ways to improve cooperation between them to achieve the Convention's objectives. Prominent themes at this session include preventing corruption, international cooperation in asset recovery, and sports integrity.

The UNCAC entered into force in 2005 and introduced a state-owned review mechanism in 2009, under which countries monitor each other to see whether implementation is on schedule.

Further details about the Conference are available here, and IACA will publish updates on its website and social media channels throughout next week. The Sixth Session of the Conference took place in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, in 2015.

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