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Yesterday, November 26, as a part of the activities organized on the occasion of the Fifth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), held in Panama City, the OAS Anticorruption Mechanism (MESICIC) was showcased, among other things, as the international anticorruption evaluation mechanism that provides the broadest opportunities for participation by the nongovernmental and civil society organizations of its States Parties.  

At a meeting organized by the UNCAC Coalition and Transparency International, Mr. Jorge García González, Director of the OAS Department of Legal Cooperation, highlighted that although the MESICIC is an intergovernmental body, it provides broad opportunities for participation by civil society organizations. This enables them to participate actively, within a regulated framework, in the evaluation processes that the Mechanism carries out, through the submission of information and the presentations made at the meetings of its Committee of Experts, as well as by providing the opportunity to contribute to discussions on topics of collective interest of the States.  

Mr. García González also drew attention to the new avenues for participation with the start of the Fourth Round of Review, which the MESICIC is currently undertaking. Private sector bodies, professional associations, academics, and researchers also have the opportunity to express their opinions during the on-site visits that the Mechanism carries out in the member states, and not just limit themselves to civil society organizations.  

Mr. Fritz Heimann of Transparency International, Mr. Abdesselam Aboudrar, President of the Central Authority for the Prevention of Corruption of Morocco, Mr. Khachik Harutyunyan of the Transparency International Anticorruption Center of Armenia, and Ms. Mary-Jane Ncube, Executive Director at Transparency International Zimbabwe also participated in this session. 

This is not the first time that the MESICIC’s high level of openness toward civil society organizations has been recognized. Recently, the web site of the UNCAC Coalition published an article titled A Mechanism for Civil Society Participation That Has Made a Difference, which describes the opportunities for participation that the MESICIC offers. Similarly, last May, the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre published a comparative article on civil society participation in the implementation of the UNCAC – The role of civil society in the UNCAC review process: Moving beyond compliance? – which highlights the MESICIC as the mechanism that “contains the strongest formal requirements on civil society participation.” 

The UNCAC Coalition, established in August 2006, is a global network of more than 350 civil society organizations in more than 100 countries that are committed to promoting the ratification, implementation, and monitoring of the UNCAC. 

The Fifth Conference of UNCAC States Parties, which draws to a close on November 29, also has on its plenary’s agenda a presentation on the MESICIC as one of the OAS’s most important developments in hemispheric cooperation against corruption.

Edition N° 154 - Nov. 2013

What is the MESICIC?

The Mechanism For Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, known as MESICIC for its Spanish acronym, is a tool to support the development of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption through cooperation between States Parties.

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