Marrakesh, 28 October 2011 – Transparency International Spain and Access Info Europe have joined civil society organisations from around the world in calling on governments signatory to the UN Convention against Corruption to show greater commitment to fighting corruption and to be more open in what they are doing to tackle it.

The 154 countries which have committed to United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) are currently meeting at the 4th Conference of States Parties, making it the world’s largest forum for adopting measures to combat corruption and to evaluate advances in reducing it.

“Even though many counties have demonstrated recent progress in fighting corruption, many challenges remain, in particular a full recognition of the role of civil society in preventing and exposing corruption,” said Jesús Lizcano, President of Transparency International Spain.

The UNCAC provides a framework for civil society participation in its implementation, but in practice the States Parties have excluded civil society organisations (CSOs) from full involvement in the process of debate and decision making.

According to Lydia Medland of Access Info Europe, “during the Marrakesh conference, CSOs have not been able to attend government negotiations on key topics, because these have taken place behind closed doors. The adoption and evaluation of anti-corruption measures should always be carried out in a transparency and participatory manner.”

Transparency International Spain and Access Info Europe also called on Spain to urgently address its failure to guarantee its citizens the right of access to information in spite of the UNCAC requirement that signatory states take steps necessary for “ensuring that the public has effective access to information.”  Both organisations are founder members of the Spanish Coalición Pro Acceso which has been promoting the approval of an access to information law since 2006.

For more information – in English or Spanish – please contact:

Lydia Medland, Access Info Europe | +34 666 164 245

Ana Revuelta, Transparency International Spain | +34 616546053

Photo: Andrea Figari