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Anti-Corruption Assessment Tool for Parliamentarians: UNDP

Oct 27, 2014, 9:42 AM

As the headline to this opinion column states, we are aware that there is a “tool” produced by the UN to support implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

We reproduce below the Forward Statement of the Anti-Corruption Assessment Tool for Parliamentarians by the UNDP and GOPAC- the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption. It states as follows:

Corruption is undeniably one of the most serious impediments to human development.It undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes quality of life, and allows organised crime, terrorism, and other threats to human security to flourish.

Corruption hinders efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), by obstructing unfettered public access to social services and diverting resources away from investments in public infrastructure, public institutions and social services.

Although it affects all social classes and all groups, the effects of corruption are most severe for women, the poor, and marginalized sections of the population.

Each year, corruption diverts more than 5 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP).

Money laundering is the world’s third-largest business, worth about US$500 billion a year.

The tremendous growth in the global dialogue on corruption over the past two decades is a result of greater awareness of these negative consequences.

Fighting corruption is now at the forefront of citizens’ demands and is a key topic in national global development discourses, including in consultations on the post-2015 development agenda.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) has achieved near universal ratification, and has created a global momentum in support of the fight against corruption.

UNCAC is the first legally binding global instrument against corruption that provides States parties with a set of standards, measures and rules that they can and must apply in their respective countries.

The UNCAC review processes encourage multi-stakeholder engagement at the national level, but participation of stakeholders such as civil society and parliamentarians is optional.

The Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recognize that parliamentarians play a critical role in UNCAC implementation.

While it is the executive branches of governments that sign UNCAC, it is countries’ parliaments that are responsible for enacting legislation necessary to meet treaty obligations.

Once a national anti-corruption authority is established, it is national parliaments that must monitor the authority and the implementation of anti-corruption laws.

Using their oversight powers, parliaments must be diligent in ensuring that sufficient resources are allocated to ensure adequate implementation of UNCAC.

The Convention includes provisions for member States to report their progress to the international community, and for the international community to share in the monitoring of States’ progress.

Parliaments should play a robust role in this reporting and monitoring cycle.

UNDP and GOPAC produced the Anti-Corruption Assessment Tool for Parliamentarians to support their vital role in the UNCAC system.

The tool was jointly and successfully tested in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco and Timor-Leste.

It is specially designed for parliamentarians and focuses on their role in ensuring effective UNCAC implementation.

The above analysis of corruption is just the foreword statement of the Anti-Corruption Assessment Tool for Parliamentarians by the UNDP and GOPAC- the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption.

“Corruption is the enemy of development, and of good governance. It must be got rid of.”

Pratibha Patil