The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), entered into force on 14 December 2005, is the first global legally binding instrument in the fight against corruption. The Convention requires the establishment of legislation dealing with a range of offences and includes extensive preventive measures. It also contains substantial provisions on strengthening international cooperation in criminal matters, as well as specific aspects of international law enforcement cooperation. Finally, in a major breakthrough, the Convention includes innovative and far-reaching provisions on asset recovery, as well as on technical assistance and implementation.
The challenge facing the international community now is to ensure that the Convention does not remain a mere text but becomes a functioning instrument. In order to support and inform Member States adequately in this endeavor, UNICRI and UNODC are jointly developing and maintaining a Technical Guide and a repository of good practices and lessons learned in building institutional and operational capacities needed to implement the main provisions of UNCAC. The project will therefore offer State Parties of the UNCAC a set of topical examples from different parts of the world on how to enhance their institutional and operational preparedness in implementing the preventive, law-enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, return, and information exchange measures envisaged by UNCAC.
The main objective of the project is to draft, publish and disseminate a manual on international best practices: a Technical Guide to support the UNODC Legislative Guide. Indeed, the latter has been published mainly for legislators in order for them to identify legislative requirements, issues arising from those requirements and various options available to States as they develop an anti-corruption policy. The Legislative Guide has been developed by UNODC, and UNICRI contributed to its elaboration with support from Fondazione CRT.
Technical Guide is an executive tool for institutional and operational measures relevant for the future implementation of UNCAC. Moreover, UNICRI staff is elaborating a table with inter-article linkages, and will launch an electronic library with anti-corruption best practices from all over the world as well as relevant background documents and links to other relevant anti-corruption sites.
Throughout 2006, UNICRI staff carried out desk research activities to identify best practices in the implementation of the main provisions of UNCAC and created the Anti-Corruption Resource Matrix. Consequently, a first meeting of international experts with adequate geographical representation met to review relevant anti-corruption worldwide practices, identify gaps and suggest solutions to curb such problems.
UNICRI staff then started to draft the Technical Guide including the suggestions that came up during the first meeting of experts. After the first draft, UNICRI and UNODC organized a second meeting of experts, who reviewed the Technical Guide and gave inputs on how to finalize the product.
UNICRI is currently finalizing the product, which will be translated in several languages and then published and disseminated to policy makers and relevant personalities of countries in transition and of those who have not yet signed/ratified the UNCAC.
Moreover, UNICRI jointly with UNODC will launch the dedicated anti-corruption website including the electronic library on international anti-corruption best practices and background documents.