14 November 2011

Ireland ratified that UN Convention Against Corruption last week, with the Minister for Justice Equality and Defence stating that “ratification of the Convention sends a clear signal to the international community of our determination to prevent and punish corruption”.

Interestingly Transparency International in welcoming the Irish commitment has flagged the need for Ireland to demonstrate a willingness to live up to the principles of UNCAC. This alludes to a series of public scandals including banking and property sector corruption. There are now 140 member states to UNCAC. A comparison of member states with the Corruption Perceptions Index – covering 178 countries – is not a heartening reflection of the commitment many of those states must have to the UNCAC principles. With Ireland’s ratification, there are now only three OECD countries that have not become UNCAC members – New Zealand (1st= on CPI), Germany (15th) and Japan (17th). When Transparency International publishes the 2011 CPI on 1 December, these three are likely to remain among the parts of the world seen to be less corrupt than most.

The map on the UNDOC link below indicates that most states that have not joined UNCAC are the small states of the Pacific and the Carribean. Most of Africa is part of UNCAC with notable exception of Botswana which is the least corrupt country in the continent (CPI 33rd) and the very poorly ranked Eritrea (173rd) and Somalia (178th).