UNODC supports Panama in strengthening institutional integrity of law enforcement

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime – Regional Office for Central America and the Caribbean (UNODC ROPAN) has supported the National Aeronaval Service (SENAN) of Panama under the framework of the CRIMJUST project, in adopting a mandatory ethics training to prevent corruption on 28 May 2018.

The training titled, “Basic Course on Ethics for Public Servants: A Tool to Combat Corruption”, was developed by the Regional Anticorruption Academy for Central America and the Caribbean (ARAC), a joint initiative of the UNODC and the National Authority of Transparency and Access to Information (ANTAI) of Panama, with the aim of introducing, improving and consolidating the knowledge of public officials on integrity and anti-corruption. The content of the course responds to international standards, and covers issues such as public ethics, values, norms of conduct and professional performance, as well as prohibitions and impediments.

SENAN, with an approximate three thousand eight hundred (3,800) officers, has the highest investment in the fight against drug trafficking and managed to seize the largest quantities of narcotics amongst all public security institutions in Panama. It is regionally recognised for its highly effective anti-narcotic efforts, despite its limited resources, such as through the strengthening of institutional integrity through capacity-building.

The target countries (Cape Verde, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Panama) and associated countries (Brazil, Colombia, Nigeria and Peru) of the CRIMJUST programme have recognised the difficulties faced by anti-narcotics units in preserving a high degree of integrity vis-à-vis corruption risks. States have also highlighted the importance of establishing preventive mechanisms, such as mandatory trainings on ethics delivered at regular intervals throughout anti-narcotics units’ professional careers. In this context, CRIMJUST helps identify and mitigate threats that impact the efficiency of anti-narcotics agencies around the world, on the premises that transnational organised crime heavily relies on corruption to achieve its goals.

Through the CRIMJUST project, UNODC and its partners (INTERPOL and TI) assist member states in enhancing the capacity and integrity of its criminal justice institutions to detect, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate cocaine trafficking. CRIMJUST also aims to foster cooperation at the interregional level for more effective action in tackling drug trafficking and related organised crime.