UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Miloš Koterec (second from right), President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), opens the High-level Segment of the Council’s 2012 session. Also seen (from left): Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs; Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly; Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and Susanna Malcorra, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary- General.

An ECOSOC 2012 High Level Panel on “Accountability, transparency and sustainable development: turning challenges into opportunities” took place on Monday, 9 July 2012, from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm with the closing session featuring the Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon from 3:00 to 3:30 pm in the ECOSOC Chamber.The objectives of the High-Level Segment Event are the following: (i) to highlight the costs imposed by the lack of accountability and transparency and corruption on sustainable development; and (ii) to exchange views on innovative approaches and partnerships in combating corruption. It is anticipated that the event could promote a renewed commitment at the highest political level for the ratification of or accession to the UN Convention against corruption by countries that have not yet done so and that it could encourage full participation in the Review Mechanism of the Convention in order to promote full implementation of its provisions.The event included two interactive dialogues. The first interactive dialogue, “Creating inclusive and cohesive societies: a multidisciplinary approach to combating corruption for development” with focus on short-term and longer-term policies, strategies and programmes that promote integrity, professionalism and accountability and prevent corruption. The second interactive dialogue, “Shared roles and responsibilities: developing innovative partnerships for comprehensive action against corruption” with focus on how all national, regional and international stakeholders involved in the fight against corruption could together promote innovative public-private partnerships aimed at fostering integrity and accountability while promoting sustainable development.

Dr. Karen Judd Smith, Chair of the Alliance of NGO on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice made a short intervention during this discussion in ECOSOC’s July 9, 2012 High Level Segment Special Event on: Accountability and Transparency and Sustainable Development. This was organized by the President of ECOSOC in conjunction with the Director General of UNODC.

During this intervention Dr. Karen Judd Smith pointed out the importance of challenging anti corruption issue. She praised Sierra Leone and Panama for their in country work about anti corruption and the way these countries integrated the participation of civil society at all levels in order to implement their anti corruption efforts.

Dr. Karen Judd Smith brought forward two important recommendations:

(1). Establishment of an expert group combined of governments, UN, expert NGO’s and those who are the victims of corruption.

She said that the purpose of an expert group such as this is to study different strategies to combat corruption and to ensure sustainable development. This kind of expert group can look into ways in which anti-corruption resolutions can be implemented. This would be an innovative and energized partnership.

“There needs to be mechanisms put in place so that governments can benefit from groups who have been actively involved in work of corruption. These groups can bring to bear the real lessons they did learn, and sometimes at enormous cost.”

(2). Focusing on stake holders / organizations who have dealt with corruption.

She said that experience and knowledge of such stake holders/organizations can be used for anti corruption. This would help in building constructive solutions together and to that end alliance is working with many of its members and would like to invite UNODC, UNDP, ECOSOC, anti corruption academy, world bank and world economic forum to join us during week of Dec 3rd to Dec 10th 2012, around the time of anti corruption day on what we are calling “Week of Focusing on Good Society”, actually to look at what it means and how we do that work of being a good society, so that we can under pin and underscore those who have successfully dealt with corruption and allow their expertise, knowledge and experience to be brought to bear on that topic.