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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