The IBA’s response to the war in Ukraine
Ukraine: IBA Anti-Corruption Committee creates taskforce to aid reconstruction efforts
The International Bar Association (IBA) has created a special task force to help Ukraine address, and avoid, the common pitfalls countries make during the reconstruction process following war or natural disasters. The Task Force will focus on anti-corruption and compliance-related matters with the aim of helping to reduce the loss of valuable international community resources to corrupt practices. It is often reported that jurisdictions trying to rebuild after devastation do not receive resources intended for them due to corruption and/or poor compliance controls.
The concept for a task force came about during the IBA Anti-Corruption Conference, which was held in June 2022 at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. Following a speech delivered by Serhiy Derkach, Head of Corruption Prevention and Detection Department at the National Agency on Corruption Prevention of Ukraine, the Chair of the IBA Legal Practice Division, Peter Bartlett, spoke with Mr Derkach who set out where he thought the IBA could assist. Mr Bartlett then sought and secured the support of the IBA Leadership for the formation of the Task Force.
Mr Bartlett commented: ‘With billions of euros for reconstruction likely to enter Ukraine in future years, the Task Force is an important initiative. Through the IBA’s vast network of international legal professionals and officials at international organisations there is a wealth of expertise to be provided alongside that of Ukrainian partners once reconstruction begins. Although we do not know when that will be, I am very pleased to have the strong support of the IBA Leadership for the Task Force and for pressing on with laying the groundwork for the plan sooner rather than later.’
The Task Force is preparing online training in areas including anti-corruption, whistleblowing, responsible business conduct, conflicts of interest, risk assessments, and the role of compliance officers. The scope for cooperation ranges from support to compliance programs, consultation on risk assessments and capacity building for the private sector.
In broad terms, there will be two main workstreams:
- the political, which will define the strategy and communication in relation to other organisations engaged in supporting Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts including international financial organisations; and
- the strategic implementation that will initially focus on the review of the new Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Strategy – a guiding document for Ukraine until 2025.
Mr Derkach commented: ‘As Ukraine overcomes lifechanging challenges and undergoes a complex transformation as a result of Russian aggression and war, we should not lose this moment of crisis to reflect thoughtfully and responsibly on past mistakes made on the way to strengthening the rule of law in the country. By adopting the Anti-Corruption Strategy up to the year of 2025, Ukraine has recognised the potential for huge corruption that will threaten the country’s development and post-war reconstruction.’
He added: ‘There is still a lot of work to do to address contemporary corruption risks and to re-architect the framework underpinning the corruption prevention system in Ukraine. We highly appreciate the IBA initiative to create the Task Force to support Ukraine in its endeavours to dispel corruption. The international experience and best practices in promoting integrity and anti-corruption compliance in business and the public sector that will be shared is very welcome. The expertise to be assembled in these matters will undoubtedly be of great assistance to the Ukrainian team contemplating systemic changes in Ukrainian legislation on corruption prevention. Rest assured; we are ready for fruitful cooperation.’
Leopoldo Pagotto, Chair of the IBA Anti-Corruption Committee, said: ‘Every assistance is more than welcomed as the preliminary assessment showed that there is a great deal of work to be done. We are looking forward to partnering with other organisations focused on developing projects in anti-corruption in Ukraine to help the nation to build back better.’ENDS
Notes to the Editor
- Click here to read about the IBA’s response to the war in Ukraine.
- The IBA Anti-Corruption Committee provides an international forum for private and public-sector practitioners to meet and discuss anti-corruption laws, compliance practices, enforcement trends and asset recovery issues. It facilitates the sharing of best practice and the regular communication of legal and other developments, including new legislation, case-law, prosecution guidance and government policy, as well as developments in civil society, the private sector and international organisations.
- The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.
The IBA acts as a connector, enabler, and influencer, for fair practice and accountability worldwide. The IBA has collaborated on a broad range of ground-breaking, international projects with the United Nations, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, The Commonwealth, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, among others.
The IBA has considerable expertise in providing assistance to the global legal community, and through its global membership, it influences the development of international law reform and helps to shape the future of the legal profession throughout the world.
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