Colombia to propose international anti-corruption court at UN

25 January 2019

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Colombia’s government wants the United Nations to create an international court to combat corruption, the country’s foreign minister announced Thursday.

Foreign minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said that his government has proposed to create an International Anti-Corruption Court while attending a UN Security Council hearing on Colombia’s peace process.

According to Trujillo, “several international instruments such as the Inter-American Convention or the United Nations’ Convention against Corruption were adopted 15 years ago. But it has not been enough, corruption continues to plague societies on all continents.”

The court proposed by Trujillo and Colombia’s ambassador to the UN, Guillermo Fernandez, would be similar to the International Criminal Court (ICC) that has been trying war criminals from around the world.

Like the ICC, the court proposed by Colombia’s government would be complementary to national jurisdictions and come into action in the event national “authorities can’t or won’t rule on cases.”

Corruption threatens the stability and security of societies; it undermines institutions; democracy, ethical values and justice, endangering sustainable development and the rule of law.

Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo

According to Trujillo, whose government has been bogged down by systemic corruption, Colombian diplomats “led the approval, last November, of the convening of an Extraordinary Session of the General Assembly dedicated to the fight against corruption.”

During this session, the country’s ambassador will formally propose the creation of a new international judicial body that “should initiate the process of consultations aimed at bringing to life an International Anti-Corruption Court.”

President Ivan Duque last year embraced opposition proposals to adopt a number of measures to curb corruption in Congress, widely seen as Colombia’s most corrupt government institution.

Almost none of these measures, however, were adopted by Congress.

Also the judicial branch has become virtually ineffective because of both domestic and transnational corruption that has affected bodies like the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor General’s Office.