Background

The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime recalled that during the negotiation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, a proposal had been made to address matters associated with the bribery of international civil servants in the Convention.   While the proposal had not been retained, he felt that a visible effort at this time to devise a system-wide instrument to extend the principles and standards of the Convention to United Nations system staff would add greatly to the credibility of current efforts within the system to combat corruption, strengthen institutional integrity and respond coherently and effectively to demands to reinforce accountability system-wide.  He offered to prepare a paper defining the issues involved and setting out proposed principles around which the system might coalesce. He invited CEB members to identify counterparts in their organizations who would participate in a consultative process to review, against the standards of the Convention, relevant rules and regulations in force in the different organizations of the system and examine together possibilities for their upgrading and harmonization, as necessary, and modalities for their integration. The outcome would be reported to CEB at its fall session.

Discussion

The initiative and the consultative process were welcome. Potential participating agencies were cautioned to avoid launching overly complex processes for the useful but straightforward task of reviewing existing staff rules and upgrading and reinforcing, as required, their anti-corruption features.

Action

The Board endorsed the recommendation of the High-level Committee on Programmes that the High-level Committee on Management and its relevant networks be actively engaged in pursuing the matter with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.