The Initiative for Research, Innovation and Advocacy in Development (IRIAD) has joined the international community in supporting the 2021 Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGASS) Against Corruption to address graft and impunity across the world.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Princess Hamman-Obels, Founder and Team Lead, IRIAD and made available to Newsdiaryonline.
She said in a statement after the 2021 UNGASS meeting “Our actions to promote anti-corruption and increase accountability include: Conducting research and providing resources to change duty-bearers’ mindsets and behaviour towards public accountability and integrity as well as enable stakeholders and the public at large to scrutinise public accounts;
“Conducting high-level advocacy with stakeholders to increase transparency and accountability in governance;
“Providing training for young people to increase their knowledge and skills to demand accountability from public officials; and
“Going on sensitisation campaigns to raise awareness about issues of public concern.
“Through these efforts, we hope to promote accountability and transparency, thereby contributing to the global goal of ending corruption and impunity.
IRIAD is a multidisciplinary strategic think tank that was established in 2019.
According to Princess, “Our focus is unique and the first of its kind in Nigeria, focusing on developing critical understanding of governance processes and regimes from knowledge building and sharing, as well as impact advocacy.
“Our mission is to strengthen governance and accountability in Nigeria through knowledge production, innovation and impact advocacy. Our vision is to be a knowledge and innovation centre for ethical governance and just development. One of our core values at IRIAD is accountability. An important measure in promoting public accountability involves reducing corruption among public officials.
“In this light, we fully support the work of the United Nations in developing an anti-corruption framework, as described below.
She notes that the United Nations General Assembly is the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. The Assembly meets regularly to consider and debate on issues of critical importance to the international community. In addition to its regular sessions, the Assembly also holds special sessions periodically. The United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions (UNGASS) have since 1998, given member nations and relevant stakeholders a normative framework and opportunity to address illicit drug use, arms trafficking and cyber-crime.
On June the 2nd to 4th 2021 in New York, the Assembly convened a special session on challenges and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation. The aim of this session was to galvanize the political will of governments and the international community in fighting corruption, identify solutions to common challenges in preventing and combating corruption, and contribute to implementing the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) by, inter alia, sharing best practices and lessons learned.
During the session, a high-level action-oriented political declaration, agreed upon in advance by the decision-making body of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the UNCAC, was adopted by the Assembly. The declaration provides blueprints to help countries tackle bribery, money laundering, abuse of power and other related crimes. Ratification, implementation, and monitoring of the declaration lies with the UNCAC Coalition, which is a coalition and global network of over 350 civil society organizations (CSOs) consisting of member organizations, individual members and affiliated groups and organizations. Nigeria is a member country of the UNCAC Coalition with seven- member organizations and eight affiliated groups and organizations.
In addition to the special session against corruption, 40 virtual side events were held starting June 1st with agenda ranging from health sector, gender equality, whistleblower protection and the launch of the Globe Network (an initiative for efficient cross-border cooperation in ending corruption). 850 young people from 122 countries gathered for a virtual meeting from 24th to 26th May to discuss issues on how corruption affects young people.
UNGASS 2021, as the first ever special session of the UN General Assembly that is focused on corruption, provided an unprecedented opportunity for countries around the world to share best practices on fighting corruption and agree on a global anti-corruption framework. It is hoped that the 193-member states of the UN, including Nigeria, will duly implement the action-oriented political declaration adopted by the Assembly during the special session.