Negotiations on the fourth day of the conference on the UN Convention against Corruption in Doha were long and hard. Governments from the two sides met last night and held discussions until around 2:00 in the morning. However, no final agreement has been found yet. Varying reports about what the draft text for how the review mechanism will look like have come out of the meetings – and they don’t seem favorable of the positions of civil society.
It appears that the mechanism will be missing or making optional the features civil society has pushed for, including country visits by other nations to assess anti-corruption progress and the publication of the reports. Involvement of civil society is another key aspect of an effective review mechanism that has been ignored by some governments even ahead of the conference by excluding civil society representatives from Georgia and Algeria.
While the results of this third session appear to be disappointing, I’d also like to highlight a side-fact mentioned in the Guardian, who reported yesterday night on the deadlock in the negotiations after six years of effort:
“In the six years since UNCAC was mooted, nearly 1,000 representatives of dozens of governments have flown to conferences in Jordan and Bali, staying for days at expensive hotels while they attempted to reach agreement. Hundreds of others have taken part in sessions in Vienna.”
The final text will be published in a couple of hours. Watch out.
In the meantime, I would like to share with you two statements we recorded during the conference. Yesterday’s plenary session on asset recovery was moved to today. For you we did a quick interview with Adrian Fozzard, Coordinator of the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR), an initiative by the World Bank and UNODC
And yesterday we interviewed Toby Mendel of Article 19, who discusses the importance of transparency and access to information.
*** Update: I also wanted to share with you this position of the delegation of Sierra Leone.