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United Nations Conference on anti-corruption measures, good governance and human rights


Date: 8-9 November 2006


Location: Warsaw, Poland

The United Nations Conference on Anti-Corruption, Good Governance and Human rights convened in Warsaw, Republic of Poland, from 8-9 November 2006. It was organized by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human rights (OHCHR) in cooperation with and hosted by the Government of the Republic of Poland. The Conference had a practical orientation and was structured in a manner that could lead to discussion of practical and concrete recommendations. There were more than 240 participants from 102 Member and Observer States. The participants were representatives of States, national human rights institutions, United Nations organs and bodies, other international bodies and national and international non-governmental organizations including anti-corruption and human rights practitioners. The Chairman of the Conference was H.E. Anna Fotyga, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. A keynote address on integrity and ethics was delivered by Dato Param Cumaraswamy former CHR Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human rights on Independence of Judges and Lawyers.

The Conference resulted in a Statement of the Chairperson. The High Commissioner's report on the outcomes of the seminar will be submitted to the March 2007 session of the Council on Human Rights.

Background

The Conference was organized in response to United Nations Commission on Human rights Resolutions 2005/68, which requested the OHCHR “[t]o convene a seminar in 2006 … on the role of anti corruption measures at the national and international levels in good governance practices for the promotion and protection of human rights.”

The Conference was a follow-up to the joint OHCHR-UNDP Seminar on good governance practices for the promotion and protection of human rights, which took place in Seoul in September 2004. The conclusions of that Seminar emphasized the mutually reinforcing, and sometimes overlapping, relationship between good governance and human rights.

Themes of the conference

The main objective of the Conference was to identify concrete ways in which governance efforts to fight corruption are assisted by and contribute to human rights protection. The Conference built on the increasing awareness within the international community about the detrimental impact of widespread corruption on human rights both through the weakening of institutions and the erosion of public trust in government as well as through impairing the ability of governments to fulfil human rights, particularly the economic and social rights of the most vulnerable and marginalized. The Conference also addressed the abuses and derogations to human rights made in the name of the fight against corruption, limiting, inter-alia, the rights to privacy, due process and freedom of expression.

Accordingly, the Conference was centred around three themes which were discussed in four panels:

  1. Impact of corruption on human rights;
  2. How human rights principles and approaches can help in fighting corruption:
    this theme was discussed in two panels, the first panel focusing on the broader questions related to this theme and the second panel focusing on the role of the private sector, civil society and media,
  3. Fighting corruption while safeguarding human rights.

Background information