Anti-corruption and Human Rights: the CII at IACA

The 17th Conference of International Investigators (CII) got underway at IACA’s Laxenburg campus this week with a keynote address from Professor Manfred Nowak on corruption and human rights.

Prof. Nowak, Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights in Vienna and former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, opened the three-day conference on Wednesday by delivering the Franz-Hermann Brüner Memorial Lecture.

Mr. Brüner, who died in 2010, was the first Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and one of the driving forces behind the establishment of what would become IACA. He was also the first Chairman of the CII and its Secretariat.

This year’s conference, which was preceded by a two-day training programme, brought together internal investigators and representatives from numerous international organizations such as the UN, World Bank, World Health Organization, European Investment Bank, and African Development Bank. The agenda featured renowned moderators, speakers, and panellists from within the investigative network and beyond.

The lecture by Prof. Nowak highlighted the nexus between fighting corruption and protecting human rights, a theme that IACA has also emphasized – and received tribute for - in various international fora.

In the context of human rights, the importance of the Academy’s programmes and trainings was explicitly recognized by Resolution 29/11 of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations General Assembly, adopted in Geneva on 2 July 2015. In recognizing the negative impact of corruption on human rights and sustainable development and the importance of anti-corruption education in combating corruption, the resolution noted with appreciation the capacity-building activities and specialized curricula developed by relevant institutions, such as IACA and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Prof. Nowak’s contribution also reinforced IACA’s strong links with the University of Vienna. IACA faculty frequently lecture in the University’s Master of Arts in Human Rights programme at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute, while experts from the Institute support IACA’s Master in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS). Other areas of cooperation between the two organizations include, inter alia, thesis supervision, library access, and mutual participation in examinations as external experts.

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