On the 10 December the 10th Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC CoSP 10) kicks off in Atlanta, USA. The CoSP process is an opportuniy for States who are party to the UNCAC, which is virtually every country in the world, to come together to discuss progress in implementing the treaty and to agree to new ideas to advance the fight against corruption.
At CoSP 9, which took place in 2021 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, for example, eight resolutions were passed, including Resolution 9/7 which aimed to enhance the use of beneficial ownership information to facilitate the identification, recovery and return of proceeds of crime.
The Special Events at CoSP, which are informal side events, are often particularly forward looking and are opportunites to discuss upcoming issues and global trends in fighting corruption. For us in particular, an important event is the StAR Initiative Asset Recovery Day, where new developments around asset recovery are discussed and new reports often launched. In 2021, for example, we spoke at a Special Event looking at asset management in Africa, which has become an important topic across many coutnries.
This year, we are co-organising three Special Events, all taking place as part of the StAR Initiative Asset Recovery Day on Tuesday 12 December:
- 13:50-14:30 : Good Practices in Asset Management
Asset management is a key, but in practice often neglected part of the asset recovery process. Ensuring that the suspected proceeds of corruption are managed to maintain their value while proceedings are ongoing and, post-confiscation, in a manner that allows for the maximum benefit of the confiscated assets to be returned to the victims of corruption, is however essential to fulfilling the aims of the UNCAC. The session will also mark the launch of the new StAR handbook on asset management.
- 16:15-16:55: Righting the Wrong: Tools for Asset Recovery in Global Corruption Cases
How can enforcement of global corruption cases, including sanctions, strengthen the fight against corruption and enhance asset recovery? This session will explore legal avenues to recover assess, and compensate for, damages arising out of transnational bribery cases, and how anti-corruption sanctions can be part of an asset recovery strategy.
- 17:00-17:40 : Illicit Financial Flows and African Regional Mechanisms for Asset Recovery
The panel will discuss regional mechanisms and experiences to improve cooperation among governmental actors and between governments and civil society to fight illicit financial flows and support the recovery of the proceeds of corruption, in particular the experience of the Common African Position on Asset Recovery.
All these panels will be streamed online, the link will go live on the StAR website: https://star.worldbank.org/star-day-agenda-2023
Also of interesting to note is that UNODC has released a new document on Collection of information on international asset returns, including challenges, good practices and lessons learned in advance of the CoSP, providing information on returns that have taken place over time across State Parties to the UNCAC.
Overall, we’ll be using the opportunity to engage partners and stakeholders while there to advocate for more transparency, accountability and participation in asset recovery. If you’re there, we look forward to meeting you in person!