Fifth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption

For the 5th Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), representatives from 167 States Parties convened in Panama City from 25–29 November 2013.

The Conference concentrated on key issues regarding review of the implementation of the Convention, asset recovery, prevention and technical assistance. It also served as an opportunity for high-level representatives to address the Conference, providing guidance for its deliberations and the achievement of its objectives.

More than 30 on-site special events took place, organised by governments, departments and agencies of the United Nations, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations and UNODC.

The IBA attended in the framework of its anti-corruption initiatives and close working relationship with both the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

On 24 November the IBA participated in the 4th Annual Meeting of the Anti-Corruption Academic Initiative (ACAD), a one-day meeting for members of the Anti-Corruption Academic Initiative, other academics and professors and government officials.

The IBA moderated a roundtable on 26 November in the framework of its Anti-Corruption Strategy for the Legal Profession, an initiative in cooperation with the OECD and the UNODC, entitled 'The Legal Profession’s Contribution to the Global Fight against Corruption'.

Finally, the IBA was proud to attend the launch of the Anti-Corruption Ethics and Compliance Handbook of the UNODC, OECD and World Bank on 28 November. The IBA's Legal Projects Team closely contributed to the development of the Handbook.


4th Annual Meeting of the Anti-Corruption Academic Initiative

ACAD is a collaborative academic project which aims to produce a comprehensive anti-corruption academic support tool containing a menu of academic modules, case studies and reference materials that can be used by universities and other academic institutions in their existing academic programmes. In doing so, ACAD seeks to encourage the teaching of anti-corruption issues as part of courses such as law, business, criminology and political science.

This year the ACAD has importantly launched its first collective product in the form of the ACAD menu of topics, which can be found on the new website at www.track.unodc.org/Academia/Pages/Home.aspx.

The meeting for members of the Anti-Corruption Academic Initiative, including the IBA, other academics and professors and government officials in Panama provided a forum for established and new members of the Initiative to present and discuss newly-developed courses in the field of anti-corruption studies and additionally focussed discussions on how we can work together to further support other institutions in developing new courses in this area.

At the 5th Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the States parties to the Convention for the first time recognised the work conducted under the Initiative and expressed their support, with an express mandate to continue.

 

The Legal Profession’s Contribution to the Global Fight against Corruption

Gonzalo Guzman, IBA Head of Legal Projects, moderated a round table discussion around opportunities for practicing lawyers to influence governments, international organisations, and other institutions in the fight against corruption. The round table also aimed to promote to the United Nations and other organisations concerned with corruption the benefits of stronger collaboration and mutual cooperation with lawyers and the bar associations that represent them.

Legal professionals can and must play a vital role in the discussion and promotion of anti-corruption policies and regulations. The roundtable explored the options available to lawyers and their representative bodies to participate in national and international anti-corruption efforts, including those related to the UNCAC.

Attendees of the roundtable keenly participated, shared their views and took advice from the panellists. There was a strong sense that lawyers are eager to participate in the fight against corruption.

Luz Nagle, Michael Osborne, Gonzalo Guzman, Patrick Moulette, Annika Wythes & Carlos Ayres


 

For a full summary of the event, please refer to the report drafted by round table rapporteur Professor Luz Nagle.