Conference of the States Parties
Buenos Aires, Argentina - May 2 to 4, 2001
MINUTES OF THE MEETING
On May 2 to 4, 2001, the States Parties to the Inter-American
Convention against Corruption met to establish a mechanism for follow-up on implementation
of the Convention.
The meeting was held with the participation of delegations from the
following States Parties: Argentina, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica,
Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru,
United States, Republic of Uruguay, and Venezuela, and with the participation of
representatives from the following states not party to the Convention: Brazil, Guatemala,
and Haiti. Representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Organisation for
Economic Cooperation and Development also participated.
The General Secretariat of the OAS provided secretariat services for
this First Conference.
The First Conference is the result of work carried out in the framework
of the OAS Working Group on Probity and Public Ethics pursuant to OAS General Assembly
resolution AG/RES. 1723 (XXX-O/00). In addition, the recommendations of the meeting of the
Group of Experts held in Washington, D.C., March 21 to 23, 2001, pursuant to OAS Permanent
Council resolution CP/RES. 783 (1260/01), were the terms of reference considered at the
As a result of the discussion that took place in Buenos Aires, the
First Conference of States Parties reached consensus, details of which are given in the
report attached hereto, the "Report of Buenos Aires on the Mechanism for Follow-up on
Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption," which will be
submitted to the Conference of the States Parties to the Inter-American Convention for its
consideration and possible adoption at the meeting thereof to be held during the
thirty-first regular session of the General Assembly of the OAS, in San José, Costa Rica,
from June 3 to 5, 2001.
Done in Buenos Aires, on the fourth day of May, 2001.
REPORT OF BUENOS AIRES ON THE MECHANISM FOR FOLLOW-UP ON IMPLEMENTATION
OF THE INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION AGAINST CORRUPTION
The purpose of the Inter-American convention against Corruption is to
promote and strengthen cooperation among the States Parties and to develop the mechanisms
needed to prevent, detect, punish, and eradicate corruption.
Considerable progress has already been made in implementing the
provisions of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption at the national level, and
significant developments have also taken place at subregional and international levels,
especially through the Inter-American Program for Cooperation in the Fight against
A mechanism to follow-up on and review how such developments are being
implemented and to facilitate cooperation among States Parties and among all member states
of the OAS will assist in attaining the objectives of the Convention. This mechanism must
take account of the need for gradual progress in attaining those objectives and must
support programs for implementation of the Convention pursued by the States Parties.
This mechanism is established in fulfillment of the Plan of Action
signed at the Third Summit of the Americas, in Quebec City, Canada, in whose chapter on
corruption the Heads of State and Government undertook to support the establishment, as
soon as possible, taking into consideration of the recommendation of the OAS, of a
follow-up mechanism for the implementation of the Inter-American Convention against
Corruption by the States Parties to this instrument.
The purposes of the mechanism shall be:
- To promote the implementation of the Convention and contribute to attaining the
purposes set forth in Article II thereof;
- To follow up on the commitments made by the States Parties to the Convention and to
study how they are being implemented; and
- To facilitate technical cooperation activities; the exchange of information, experience,
and best practices; and the harmonization of the legislation of the States Parties.
2. Basic principles
Development of the mechanism for follow-up of the commitments of the
States Parties to the Convention shall be guided by the purposes and principles
established in the Charter of the Organization of American States. Therefore, the powers
accorded to it and the procedures it follows shall take account of the principles of
sovereignty, nonintervention, and the juridical equality of the states, as well as the
need to respect the Constitution and the fundamental principles of the legal
system of each State Party.
The mechanism for follow-up of implementation of the Convention shall
be intergovernmental in nature and shall have the following characteristics:
a. It shall be impartial and objective in its operations and in the
conclusions it reaches.
b. It shall ensure equitable application and equal treatment among
c. It shall not entail the adoption of sanctions.
d. It shall establish an appropriate balance between the
confidentiality and the transparency of its activities.
e. It shall be conducted on the basis of consensus and cooperation
among States Parties.
4. Members of the follow-up mechanism
Only States Parties to the Convention shall participate in the
5. Structure and responsibilities
The follow-up mechanism shall be comprised of two bodies: the
Conference of the States Parties and the committee of experts.
All States Parties shall be represented in the Conference. It shall
have general authority to implement and responsibility for implementation of the mechanism
and shall meet at least once each year.
The committee shall be comprised of the experts appointed by each of
the States Parties. It shall be responsible for technical analysis of the implementation
of the Convention by the States Parties, among other tasks related to this main function.
The Committee may request assistance and guidance from the Conference, which shall meet to
consider such requests.
Secretariat services for the mechanism shall be provided by the General
Secretariat of the Organization of American States.
The headquarters for the follow-up mechanism shall be at the
headquarters of the Organization of American States.
a. The Committee shall adopt and disseminate its rules of procedure and
b. Country reports
i. Selection of provisions and methodology
The committee of experts shall select, from among the provisions of the
Convention, those whose application by the States Parties may be reviewed, seeking to
maintain general balance among the various types of provision contained in the Convention,
and shall determine the length of time it will devote to this task, which shall be known
as a "round." The committee shall devise a method for the review of each
provision, designed to ensure that sufficient reliable information will be obtained. The
Committee shall publish the information referred to in this paragraph.
At each round, the Committee shall prepare a questionnaire on the
provisions selected, based on OAS document CP/GT/PEC-68/00 rev. 3, "Questionnaire on
Ratification and Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption,"
and shall forward it to those States Parties to be reviewed. The States Parties shall
undertake to reply to the questionnaire by the deadline established by the committee. The
replies to the questionnaire shall be distributed to all committee members.
ii. Selection of countries
The Committee shall use an impartial method for setting the dates for
review of the information on each State Party, such as their presentation on a voluntary
basis, chronological order of ratification of the Convention, or lot. The Committee shall
give adequate advance notice of the dates for the review of each State Party during each
iii. Review of information and preliminary report
To expedite its work, the committee shall establish a subgroup in each
case, comprised of experts from two States Parties, which shall review, with support from
the Secretariat, the information on each State Party.
On the basis of that review, each subgroup shall prepare, with support
from the Secretariat, a confidential preliminary report, which shall be made available to
the State Party concerned for its observations.
Each subgroup shall prepare a revised version of the preliminary
report, taking into account the observations presented by the State Party concerned, and
present it to a plenary meeting of the Committee for its consideration.
The plenary meeting of the Committee shall prepare the conclusions and,
if deemed appropriate, make the recommendations it considers pertinent.
iv. Final report
After completing, at each round, its review of the reports for all
States Parties, the Committee shall issue a final report for each State Party, containing
the observations of the State Party reviewed, which shall be forwarded first to the
Conference and then published.
Mindful of the purposes of the follow-up mechanism and in the framework
of the Inter-American Program for Cooperation in the Fight against Corruption, the
Committee shall strive to cooperate with all OAS member states, taking account of the
activities already under way within the Organization, and shall report to the Conference
The Committee shall undertake systematic consideration of the issues
involved in cooperation and assistance among States Parties in order to identify the areas
where technical cooperation is needed and the most appropriate methods for collection of
useful data to review such cooperation and assistance. This work shall take account of the
provisions of Articles XIII through XVI and Article XVIII of the Convention.
States that are not parties to the Inter-American Convention against
Corruption may be invited to observe the plenary meetings of the committee of experts if
they so request.
8. Civil society participation
In order to obtain better input for its review, the Committee shall
include in the provisions governing its operation an appropriate role for civil society
organizations, taking into account the "Guidelines for the Participation of Civil
Society Organizations in OAS Activities" [CP/RES. 759 (1217/99)] and the definition
of civil society contained in AG/RES. 1661 (XXIX-O/99), in keeping with the domestic
legislation of the State Party under review. The Committee may request information from
civil society organizations, for which purpose it shall develop the method it considers
The activities of the follow-up mechanism shall be funded by
contributions from States Parties to the Convention, from states that are not parties to
the Convention, and from international financial organizations, and by any other
contribution that may be received in accordance with the General Standards to Govern the
Operations of the General Secretariat, including a specific fund that may be established.
Such contributions may include offers by State Parties to organize and host meetings of
the bodies of the mechanism. The Conference of States Parties may establish criteria for
determining the amounts of regular contributions.
10. Periodic review of the mechanism
The Conference shall periodically review the operation of the
mechanism, taking account of observations made by the committee of experts, and may
introduce such changes as it deems appropriate.
11. Transitory provision
To facilitate the work of the first meeting of the committee, the
Conference considers that topics that the committee might analyze at its first round are, inter
a. Article III, selecting as many measures as the Committee considers
b. Article XIV; and
c. Article XVIII.
In the event that the committee of experts encounters difficulties in
conducting a review of all topics indicated, it shall report such difficulties to the
Conference so that that body may take such decisions as it deems appropriate at its next
The Conference also suggests that, during its first year of operation,
the committee of experts hold at least two meetings.