UN plans global anti-corruption reviews

AP News
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Posted: Nov 13, 2009 7:56 AM

A U.N. official says an agreement has been reached for sweeping anti-corruption reviews on how countries account for their public assets.

The pact comes after talks in Qatar's capital, Doha, between the United Nations, World Bank and watchdog groups. The head of the U.N. office leading anti-corruption efforts, Antonio Maria Costa, calls it a landmark decision to track and return public funds looted by political leaders and others.

The accord opens the way for U.N. inspectors and non-governmental groups to probe more than 140 countries that have signed the U.N. anti-corruption convention.

But it allows countries to block the outside visits and offer their own assessments. Activist groups complain this is too weak.