On 1 December, the BRICS Expert Round Table on Anti-Corruption Education and Training under the Russian BRICS Chairmanship will take place in a virtual format.
Anti-corruption education and training are key to preventing and detecting corruption effectively. However, recent reports of the United Nations highlight that all countries across continents face such challenges as relatively little attention to anti-corruption education programmes, lack of a culture of integrity in some parts of the public sector and frequent failure of business ethics.
This is why Russia has identified anti-corruption education as a priority of its BRICS Chairmanship in 2020. The BRICS already have a standing cooperation in the field which is to be reinforced by expert support and knowledge.
The Round Table on Anti-Corruption Education and Training to be held on the occasion of the forthcoming International Anti-Corruption Day will focus on good practices and common challenges of the BRICS in three strictly intertwined areas: raising public awareness about corruption, anti-corruption education in universities and training for anti-corruption practitioners and officials. The detailed programme of the event is provided below.
DATE: 1 December 2020
TIME: from 11 a.m. GMT to 2 p.m. GMT
Welcome and introduction.
Chair: H.E. Andrey Avetisyan, Ambassador-at-Large for International Anti-Corruption Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russian Federation – Chair of the BRICS Working Group on Anti-Corruption Cooperation.
Session One. Raising public awareness about corruption.
Moderator: Mr. Vijayendra Bidari, Deputy Director, International Police Cooperation Unit, Central Bureau of Investigation, India.
- Mr. Michael Seloane, Commissioner, Office of Public Service Commission, South Africa;
- Gen. Aslan Yusufov, Deputy Director, Department for Supervision over Enforcement of Anti-Corruption Legislation, Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation, GRECO Bureau Member.
Incorrect to have a myopic view of corruption. It is myopic to limit the effort of combating corruption to merely making laws or creating institutions. Despite having the most stringent laws and punishments, despite creation of plethora of anti-corruption institutions, it is undeniable that the menace of corruption continues to raise its ugly head and torment every facet of society.
True cost of corruption to socio-economic and political development of society is enormous. The ‘True Cost’ of corruption is enormous in terms of damage to socio-economic fabric of society and perpetrates grave injustice on the general population. A worrisome scenario seems to be emerging with continued prevalence of corruption and its tolerance in society. Corruption cannot be allowed to become a ‘new normal’ in society especially considering its severe degenerative effects on every aspect of our socio-economic and political development of nations.
Fight against corruption needs to become a mass movement in society. The fight against corruption can only be successful if the fight goes beyond the public offices, enforcement agencies and courts. The fight against corruption has to be fought in our homes, in our families, in our communities, in our colleges and neighbourhoods. People will raise their voice against corruption only if they are empowered with the right knowledge to know what constitutes corruption and awareness of what constitutes an infringement of their right to live with dignity in a corruption free environment. Once the level of awareness against corruption reaches a critical mass, society will coalesce into a mass movement and rid itself of corruption.
Issues for discussion:
- Are we doing enough to create awareness of corruption in the general public?
- Do we have the right framework to create awareness against corruption in the general public?
- What are the way forward and future steps in creation of awareness against corruption in the general public?
Session Two. Anti-corruption education in universities.
Moderator: Dr. Xiumei WANG, Professor of Law, Beijing Normal University, China.
- Mr. Atul Singh, Additional Secretary, Central Vigilance Commission, Government of India;
- Dr. Benni Lekubu, Senior Lecturer and Anti-Corruption Subject Matter Expert, College of Law, University of South Africa.
Corruption is a global challenge which may negatively impact economic growth and sustainable development of not only the BRICS countries, but also the international society as a whole. As we all know, in recent years the BRICS countries have made great efforts to fight against corruption in various ways, and following SDG 16 to promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all and to make the world safer and cleaner. Anti-corruption education plays a fundamental role as such.
Issues for discussion:
- Experience-sharing in anti corruption education in BRICS countries’ universities.
- Teaching anti-corruption courses in BRICS countries’ universities.
- Discussion of special programmes.
Session Three. Training for anti-corruption practitioners and officials.
Moderator: Mr. Alexey Konov, Director for Anti-Corruption Policy, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia.
- Mr. Marconi Costa Melo, General Coordinator of International Legal Cooperation in Criminal Matters, Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Brazil;
- Mr. Paul Daniel, Additional Secretary, Central Vigilance Commission, Government of India;
- Mr. Busani Ngcaweni, Principal of National School of Government, South Africa.
For anti-corruption reforms to be successful, it is not enough to issue comprehensive legislation. No less important is to ensure that both employees of anti-corruption agencies and public officials subject to anti-corruption restrictions and prohibitions understand well the requirements of the law and know how to relate them to real life.
One of the most important means of achieving this goal is professional training of public officials. And the larger the anti-corruption reforms carried out in the country are, the broader the range of public officials they affect, the more important training becomes.
However, organizing professional training on anti-corruption issues is a challenging task. Finding an appropriate balance between theory and practice in curricula, determining the optimal duration and methods of training, ensuring the quality of training throughout the country - all these and many other difficult issues must be resolved to create an effective system of anti-corruption professional training.
With this in mind, it is surprising that professional training on anti-corruption issues is much less discussed in the literature than other anti-corruption tools. There are practically no materials by international organizations on the topic of anti-corruption professional training. Meanwhile, each country has its own experience in this field. We believe that comparative analysis could be highly beneficial both to the BRICS countries and beyond.
Issues for discussion:
- Does your country have a centralized training system for anti-corruption practitioners and (or) public officials subject to anti-corruption restrictions?
- What is the main focus of the curricula: specific anti-corruption rules and regulations, or more general issues such as history, causes and consequences of corruption, or both?
- How is quality of anti-corruption training throughout the country ensured? What in your opinion are the possibilities for strengthening cooperation among the BRICS countries in this field?
Expected outcome and follow-up.
Common challenges and opportunities for strengthening BRICS cooperation in the field identified in the course of the event along with the recommendations of the participants will be reflected in a focused strategic document by the Russian Chairmanship in the BRICS Working Group on Anti-Corruption Cooperation. The outcome will also lay the basis for the programmes of two special projects initiated and financed by the Russian Federation under its BRICS Presidency:
- workshop for university educators “Enhancing Capacity to Teach Anti-Corruption, Integrity and Ethics”, organized by UNODC under the auspices of the Education for Justice Initiative (Vienna, 2021);
- BRICS tailor-made “train the trainer” course in the International Anti-Corruption Academy (Laxenburg, 2021).
Participants of the Round Table will be eligible to take part in these expert initiatives.
Please note, a link to the Zoom conference will be provided to registered participants two hours prior to the starting time.
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