IACA Assembly of Parties (9 - 11 December)

The fourth session of IACA’s Assembly of Parties will take place at the Vienna International Centre next week. Proceedings will start on 9 December, International Anti-Corruption Day, with messages from H.E. Heinz Fischer, President of Austria, H.E. Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General, and Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA.

The Assembly will concentrate on the Academy’s overall policy as well as key issues regarding the work programme, financing, and elections in the Board of Governors. More than 200 delegates from Parties and Observers to the IACA Agreement are expected.

Two side events are also on the agenda for 10 December. The first is a panel discussion on the nexus between corruption and security with Sarah Chayes from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as well as senior representatives from UNODC, the OSCE, and others. It is co-sponsored by the United States’ State Department.

The second side-event aims to raise awareness on the importance of anti-corruption education and training, particularly in view of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Participants will have a chance to hear from IACA students and faculty about how the organization’s programmes and activities have impacted them and the communities they serve.

In addition to three days of deliberations, delegates are also invited to a Gala Dinner with H.E. Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Austrian Minister of the Interior, and to a traditional evening at IACA’s historic Palais Kaunitz-Wittgenstein in Laxenburg.

Stay tuned for updates.

IACA’s First Latin America Programme is a Success

The first IACA Regional Summer Academy - Latin America has ended successfully, generating positive reactions from anti-corruption professionals across the region.

The programme, which took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, concluded at the end of last week. It consisted of seven days of intensive thinking and discussion with leading experts about how to prevent and fight corruption in the region, with an emphasis on developing and emulating best practices.

The latter part of the programme included two round-table discussions with prominent panellists. The first focused on private sector initiatives to fight corruption, while the second discussed the future of anti-corruption in Latin America.

Another highlight was a reception hosted by the Austrian embassy in Buenos Aires, which was attended by participants and also ambassadors from the participants’ home countries.

Half of the anti-corruption professionals who took part in the programme work in the private sector and half in the public sector. They came from ten countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA, said: “The quality, energy, and engagement of the participants and speakers in this first IACA Regional Summer Academy have been fantastic. By empowering professionals and building networks in the fight against corruption, this programme can have a significant impact in the region and beyond.”

The IACA Regional Summer Academy - Latin America was co-sponsored under the Siemens Integrity Initiative. IACA plans to hold another Regional Summer Academy in East Africa in mid-2016, supported by the Austrian Development Agency.

IACA and the GCC Pledge to Strengthen Ties

IACA received a delegation from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) today, led by H.E. Mohammed Saleh Al Gheilani, Head of the Permanent Observer Mission of the GCC to the United Nations in Vienna.

H.E. Al Gheilani and Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA, agreed to strengthen cooperation, exchange expertise, organize joint anti-corruption events, and work towards increasing stakeholder engagement from GCC countries. H.E. Al Gheilani reiterated the GCC’s full support for IACA’s work in empowering professionals and helping stakeholders strengthen their anti-corruption and compliance regimes.

The meeting follows recent talks between H.E. Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Secretary General of the GCC, and Mr. Kreutner, in the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Summit, as well as consultations with GCC Member States.

The GCC is a regional political and economic organization comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Côte d’Ivoire Joins IACA

Membership in the Academy grew again on 23 November with the accession of Côte d’Ivoire to the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization.

The Academy’s constituency comprises 65 Parties, or 62 states and three international organizations, to date.

Thirteen (13) of the 53 Signatories are yet to ratify the Agreement. It remains open for accession to all United Nations Member States and international organizations.

Kuwaiti Ambassador Presents Credentials

On 24 November, H.E. Mr. Sadiq Marafi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations in Vienna, presented his credentials to Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA.

Kuwait formally acceded to the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization in March 2015.

Start of IACA Regional Summer Academy - Latin America

The first ever IACA Regional Summer Academy - Latin America started in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Saturday, attracting anti-corruption professionals from across the region.

The participants come from ten countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. The group includes lawyers, compliance officers, judges, prosecutors, researchers, parliamentarians, and auditors. Half work in the private sector and half come from the public sector.

The first two days featured sessions led by Eugenio Maria Curia, a member of IACA’s International Senior Advisory Board, Maristella Aldana, Chief of the Office of Institutional Integrity at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Carlos Manuel Garrido, director of the Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento (CIPPEC)and former parliamentarian, and Bruce Horowitz, of the Paz Horowitz law firm and President of the Center for the Study of Bribery and Extortion Situations (CESSE). Participants also enjoyed some lively team building exercises.

The seven-day, interdisciplinary programme is based on IACA’s successful annual Summer Academy, which has empowered hundreds of professionals from more than 100 countries since 2011. This regional version specifically focuses on Latin America and is aimed at professionals seeking fresh insights to sharpen their anti-corruption work in this part of the world.

Many other internationally renowned anti-corruption experts will lead sessions in the coming days. They include Robert Klitgaard, a Professor at Claremont Graduate University in the United States, Ronald MacLean-Abaroa, a former mayor of La Paz in Bolivia, and Luis Moreno Ocampo, the first Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. All three are regular lecturers at IACA.

In addition, the programme includes two round-table discussions with prominent panellists. The first, which took place yesterday, looked at private sector initiatives to fight corruption. The second, on Wednesday 25 November, will discuss the future of anti-corruption in Latin America.

The IACA Regional Summer Academy - Latin America, which runs until 27 November, is co-sponsored under the Siemens Integrity Initiative. IACA plans to hold another Regional Summer Academy in East Africa in mid-2016, supported by the Austrian Development Agency.

Panamanian Ambassador Presents Credentials

On 23 November, H.E. Ms. Paulina Maria Franceschi Navarro, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Panama to the International Organizations in Vienna, presented her credentials to Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA.

Panama ratified the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization in December 2012.

Slovene Ambassador Presents Credentials

On 23 November, H.E. Mr. Andrei Benedejčič, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Slovenia to the International Organizations in Vienna, presented his credentials to Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA.

Slovenia ratified the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization in May 2011.

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Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA, has concluded his first official working visit to Australia, where he met last week with government officials and participated at the fifth Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference.

In Canberra, Mr. Kreutner discussed further cooperation with representatives from the Public Service Commission, Attorney General’s Department, Australian Federal Police, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. The meetings also provided an opportunity to explore concrete measures for strengthening outreach on IACA’s capacity-building programmes and technical assistance activities in view of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

In Brisbane later in the week, Mr. Kreutner delivered a keynote speech at the Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference, a biennial event hosted by the country’s leading anti-corruption agencies. He spoke about the future of the international anti-corruption agenda and presented IACA’s work to a broad audience of public sector leaders and managers.

Australia has a long-standing relationship with the organization and officially joined as a Party in 2012.

Israeli Ambassador Presents Credentials

On 11 November, H.E. Ms. Talya Lador-Fresher, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the State of Israel to the International Organizations in Vienna, presented her credentials to Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA.

Israel ratified the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization in September 2012. An Israeli expert also sits on IACA’s Board of Governors, serving in his individual capacity.

COSP Resolution Recognizes IACA’s Important Contribution to Anti-Corruption

The Conference of the States Parties (COSP) to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) closed its sixth session in St. Petersburg last Friday. Among the nine resolutions adopted, one referred to “Education and training for professionals on anti-corruption”.

The Resolution recognizes the power of education, which acts as a catalyst for greater equality and equity, fair and just societies, peace and security, and the need to develop educational and information programmes in order to promote a culture of transparency and accountability at all levels of society. It stresses that investing in anti-corruption education and empowering professionals are effective ways towards achieving sustainable development, safeguarding human rights, and strengthening the rule of law.

Moreover, the Resolution urges States Parties to the UNCAC to further strengthen their efforts to support anti-corruption education, invites them to consider capacity-building activities, specialized academic initiatives, and tools developed by major international stakeholders in the fight against corruption, and recognizes the important contribution of the International Anti-Corruption Academy in this context.

The COSP also adopted resolutions on public-private partnerships, asset recovery, and information technologies for implementing the Convention, among others. States Parties agreed to launch the second cycle of the Review Mechanism next year, focusing on corruption prevention and asset recovery.

The IACA delegation to the sixth session of the COSP was led by Mr. Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary. To read more about IACA’s side event on anti-corruption education and training in implementing the UNCAC, as well as its contributions at the high-level plenary and other events, please click here

Dispatch from St. Petersburg - Education, Training, and the UNCAC

IACA stressed the importance of anti-corruption education and training for implementing the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and ultimately achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), at the high-level plenary of the sixth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the UNCAC in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.

“Education can strengthen individuals in their ethical decision-making and contribute to understanding and civically monitoring the activities of those entrusted with upholding the rule of law,” it was emphasized. “Empowered societies contribute to a strong cultural resistance to corruption and pave the way for strengthening human rights, equity and equality, and sustainable development.”  

During IACA’s side event on Wednesday, conference participants had a chance to learn about its diverse activities, particularly the Master in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS), and how these training programmes, capacity building and technical assistance activities facilitate compliance with relevant provisions of the Convention. After introductory remarks by Mr. Kreutner and Professor Nikos Passas, Member of the MACS Academic Consortium, alumni and current students spoke about their experiences at IACA and how different programmes have enhanced their anti-corruption and compliance competences.

“As a humanitarian worker, I genuinely underestimated the business risk and opportunity for organized crime to target the humanitarian space,” said Malika Aït-Mohamed Parent, Under Secretary General of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. “My intellectual journey with IACA has contributed to my understanding of anti-corruption and I am more equipped for concrete implementation.”

Chris Moll, Executive Director of Lexchange, had similar words of praise. Talking about the MACS programme he is currently participating in, Mr. Moll highlighted that it has significantly added to his “awareness that a singular international legal perspective on corruption poses significant limitations on comprehension”.

Students and alumni also touched upon the benefits of networking opportunities at IACA. “I do very much appreciate the ongoing support and reliable network of our international colleagues from all sectors of society,” said Barbara Neiger, Lead Auditor of Compliance Management Systems.

In this context, Elisabeth Neckel, IACA External Relations Officer and Executive Assistant to the Dean, delivered a short presentation on IACA’s alumni association and how it is helping professionals connect and work together. The growing association currently brings together close to a thousand practitioners and policymakers from 140 countries.

In the framework of the conference, Mr. Kreutner also spoke at the ‘High-Level Side Event on the Practice of Public-Private Partnership in Anti-Corruption’. He presented IACA’s work on public-private partnerships as well as the results of an earlier multilateral conference on the subject in Moscow in March, organized in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The sixth Conference of the States Parties to the UNCAC will continue through Friday. Over 1,500 representatives from 160 States Parties to the Convention, Observer states, six intergovernmental organizations, and more than 80 non-governmental organizations are taking part.

The adoption of outcome documents and resolutions is foreseen as the last agenda item.

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