2 February 2000




VIENNA, 2 January (UN Information Service) -- UN Member States, meeting in Vienna, unanimously advocated a new United Nations Convention against Corruption.

"It is widely acknowledged that corruption scares away foreign investment and development aid ", says Pino Arlacchi, Executive Director of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP). "What is needed is a comprehensive legal instrument that will attack this scourge that is impeding economic development and undermining democracy across the world. "

This decision was reached at a meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration of an International Convention against Organized Transnational Crime. That treaty, together with supplementary protocols on illicit firearms, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, are expected to be completed at a special meeting in Palermo, Italy, later this year. Immediately following its work on those instruments, the Vienna-based Centre for International Crime Prevention will start preparations for the anti-corruption treaty.

It is expected that the new convention will be a comprehensive legal instrument covering active and passive corruption in the public sector, both within countries and transnationally. It will also seek to give universal application to legal provisions, currently in force on a limited national or regional basis only.

The issues of global action to combat organized crime and corruption will also be discussed by Member States at the Tenth UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, which will take place in Vienna from 10 to 17 April.


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