The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) through its Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG), together with the Group of States against Corruption of the Council of Europe (GRECO) co-organized a side event on the theme of Building Transparent, Accountable and Inclusive Institutions at the Special Session of the General Assembly against Corruption (UNGASS) 2021. The virtual event was held on the 2nd of June 2021. About 230 people — government officials, practitioners, experts, participants from the private sector and civil society organizations — attended the side event.
The side event showcased the importance of building transparent, accountable and inclusive institutions to foster effective governance, prevent corruption and gain public trust. The event featured interventions and discussion on the experiences of the organizers in strengthening integrity in the public sector, including by reflecting on specific initiatives and good practices. In this context UN DESA presented its Curriculum on Governance for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) and the Toolkit on Transparency, Accountability and Ethics in Public Institutions that aims to build the capacities of governments and public servants in these areas. Participants also heard about the United Nations Public Service Award (UNPSA) from one of its winners, Bangladesh. GRECO reflected on the lessons learned from its monitoring experience and the resulting recommendations to prevent corruption and promote integrity in all three branches of government. Implementation of such measures acquires even greater importance in times of emergency. The pivotal role of oversight bodies, in particular anti-corruption agencies and supreme audit institutions, in relation to the proper management of public affairs and public property was also addressed.
Mr. Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, opened the event, stressing the importance of joint efforts to fight against corruption and implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Mr. Marin Mrčela, President of the Group of States against Corruption of the Council of Europe (GRECO), discussed the main risks of unethical behavior in the public sector and corruption for the post-COVID-19 recovery and shared GRECO’s role in supporwting members to strengthen integrity. Speakers representing the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA), the Ministry of Land of Bangladesh, the Italian Anti-Corruption Authority (ANAC), and UN DESA focused on the following thematic questions:
- How can the 11 Principles of Effective Governance for Sustainable Development help governments in their efforts to prevent and curb corruption?
- What can be learned from award winning initiatives on how to foster effective and accountable institutions, and ensure the inclusion of vulnerable groups?
- What role can anti-corruption authorities play in implementing and monitoring corruption prevention policies and practices, especially during a pandemic?
- How can supreme audit institutions contribute to the implementation of the SDGs and recovery from the pandemic?
- What capacities are further needed to enhance ethics, transparency and accountability in the public sector and how can international bodies support member states in their efforts to develop such capacities?
Ms. Hanne Juncher, Executive Secretary of GRECO, concluded the event with closing remarks and a call for action.
This report summarizes key messages emanating from the event, as well as participants’ feedback. Further related material can be found on the side event webpage https:// publicadministration.un.org/en/news-and-events/calendar/ ModuleID/1146/ItemID/3086/mctl/EventDetails.
File added date: August 2021
Author: UN DESA/DPIDG