IACA celebrated its seventh anniversary as an international organization on 8 March by welcoming dozens of ambassadors and other prominent guests to a festive reception at its Laxenburg campus. The guest of honour was H.E. Ms. Karin Kneissl, the Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, representing IACA’s host country.
Also present were numerous other members of the diplomatic community, senior representatives of the county of Lower Austria, senior figures from Vienna-based international organizations, members of IACA’s Board of Governors, prominent officials from Austrian federal authorities and the municipality of Laxenburg, along with many IACA faculty, staff, and alumni.
In her address to the guests, H.E. Ms. Kneissl reiterated Austria’s strong support for IACA, which she described as “a centre of excellence and a hub of expertise and information sharing”.
“Austria will continue to give priority to fighting corruption, both internally and externally. We have committed ourselves to this Academy, we appreciate IACA’s achievements over the past several years, and we are proud to serve as its host country,” she emphasized.
Mr. Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary, shared some of IACA’s many highlights from the past 12 months, including the successful sixth session of the Assembly of Parties (AoP) hosted by the Arab Republic of Egypt in Sharm El Sheikh in October 2017.
Other achievements included the IACA Regional Summer Academy – Middle East in Kuwait last December and the recent start of the new International Master in Anti-Corruption Compliance and Collective Action (IMACC) for business professionals. In addition, IACA is going to launch the world’s first PhD programme in anti-corruption studies, with a small initial enrolment of students.
Mr. Kreutner also highlighted the latest explicit recognition of IACA’s work in a United Nations Resolution, this time by the Human Rights Council of the UN General Assembly in June 2017, as well as the continued expansion of IACA’s alumni network to (currently) 155 countries and jurisdictions.
Turning to the global situation, he expressed concern about current mounting geopolitical tensions as well as the emergent disintegration of formerly stable political environments, and in particular a growing “crisis of multilateralism and international cooperation” in dealing with multiple threats.
“A concerted global fight against corruption is essential if the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to be realized. Thanks to the support and the spirit of cooperation shown by all our stakeholders, IACA is making — and will continue to make — a substantial contribution in this regard. So as we celebrate today, let us further intensify our joint efforts in this vital cause,” he concluded.
H.E. Mr. Omar Amer Youssef, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the International Organizations in Vienna (African Group) and President of the sixth session of the AoP, reiterated that his country was honoured to host the Assembly as part of its commitment to all international efforts against corruption and its appreciation of the work of IACA.
Thanking IACA’s constituency for its fruitful cooperation, H.E. Mr. Youssef said that the successful outcome of the Assembly would positively contribute to strengthening the organization’s future work and objectives.
His address was followed by a further expression of support from Prof. Dr. Pakdee Pothisiri, the Vice Chairperson of IACA’s Board of Governors, who chaired the most recent Board meeting on 7 March .
Dr. Pothisiri thanked his fellow Board members for their hard work and commitment, adding that the existing spirit of friendly and amicable partnership between the Board and IACA’s other organs and stakeholders is allowing for the organization’s future fruitful development.
IACA was initiated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), INTERPOL, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the Republic of Austria, and other stakeholders. It became an international organization on 8 March 2011 and presently has a constituency of 72 Parties, including three international organizations.