Resident Coordinator’s International Anti-Corruption Day Message

Dec 9, 2009

No country is immune from corruption, and with economies larger and ever more intertwined, the potential risks and costs of corruption are increasing. It is for this reason that the member states of the United Nations came together and adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) through resolution 58/4 of 31 October 2003.

Sri Lanka was the first country in Asia to sign the Convention, which today has 141 State Parties. It’s the fastest ratified international treaty ever and it clearly demonstrates a global consensus on what countries should do to prevent and criminalize corruption, to improve international cooperation in combating corruption, and to recover assets. Many consider it a revolutionary step in international criminal law, a groundbreaking and innovative tool to promote good governance.

Here is Sri Lanka the UN system is working closely with national partners to tackle corruption through policy level, operational and grass roots initiatives. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Support Efforts and Action Against Corruption Project (SEAC) for example, is currently supporting the Commission Against Allegations of Bribery and Corruption to raise awareness about corruption whilst also strengthening the Commission’s capacities to fight it.
With support from the UNDP Project and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Commission in partnership with the Attorney General’s Department has also this year initiated steps to conduct an analysis of Sri Lanka’s legal and institutional framework against the standards and principles of the UNCAC, an important exercise recommended to all signatory countries. The proposals that flow from the exercise will help to guide the efforts of the Government and its partners when working to strengthen the laws and institutions that fight corruption.