Our work on conventions
Filed under - Conventions
What’s at stake?
Corruption does not stop at national borders: multinational companies bribe government officials to get them to buy useless medicines and faulty equipment for public hospitals; global trafficking rings bribe immigration authorities to let them transport women and children across borders and force them into slavery; and government officials divert public money to offshore accounts leaving poor people without schools. To stop these and other forms of cross-border corruption, we need global solutions. For any country to succeed in fighting corruption, it has to cooperate and coordinate with other countries. To this end, governments have adopted global and regional anti-corruption conventions. The most comprehensive anti-corruption convention is the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
What we’re doing about it
To push governments to comply with anti-corruption conventions, Transparency International focuses on advocacy, capacity building and research. We aim to hold governments to account for their commitments under these conventions, focusing on subjects such as codes of ethics, procurement standards, rules for transparency in public finance, and private sector accounting standards. The conventions cover crimes like bribery, embezzlement and money laundering.
Transparency International is the Secretariat to the UNCAC Coalition, a group of more than 310 civil society organisations and individuals in over 100 countries that pressure governments to ratify and comply with the UNCAC. We work with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to provide training for civil society organisations to learn about the UNCAC review process. Transparency International chapters as well as Coalition civil society organisations prepare UNCAC review reports tracking government performance. Thomson Reuters TrustLaw arranges pro bono assistance for the civil society organisations as they prepare their UNCAC review reports.
The Transparency International movement also monitor states’ progress in complying with the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, and we submit our annual Progress Report to the OECD Working Group on Bribery.
We also contribute to the monitoring processes of the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Convention Against Corruption and the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) review process covering the Council of Europe Criminal and Civil Law Conventions against Corruption. Moreover, we played an active role in the drafting of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.
Transparency International and the UNCAC Coalition undertake campaigns to pressure governments to comply with anti-corruption conventions. We write letters to Ministers, issue statements and produce reports. The efforts are focused around key meetings where government representatives gather to discuss corruption, including the UNCAC Conference of States Parties (CoSP).
Transparency International is the Secretariat to the UNCAC Coalition which mobilises civil society action for the ratification and implementation of the UNCAC at national, regional and international levels. The Coalition shares information among members through the UNCAC Coalition website, mailing list and ad hoc working groups. We hold training sessions to advise civil society organisations on the UNCAC review process. We have also developed online training materials on this process including two sets of six short videos.
Transparency International produces evidence-based reports which critique and encourage governments to comply with conventions. The annual Progress Report monitors enforcement of the OECD anti-bribery convention. Finding that enforcement of the convention is broadly inadequate, the report is used as a basis for advocacy to urge governments to strengthen enforcement. In addition, civil society organisations of the UNCAC Coalition produce reports evaluating their states’ compliance with UNCAC standards. We use these reports to facilitate dialogue between civil society and governments on UNCAC implementation.
Timeline and results
- August 2006: UNCAC Coalition established and co-convened by Transparency International
- 2006: Launch of two guides on anti-corruption conventions in Africa and the Americas
- December 2010: First quarterly UNCAC Coalition newsletter
- February 2011: First joint training session for civil society organisations on the UNCAC review process held by Transparency International together with UNODC
- May 2011: Launch of the seventh Transparency International Progress Report on OECD Convention Enforcement
- August and September 2011: UNCAC Coalition releases statements on Article 13 and Asset recovery
- October 2011: Launch of Transparency International overview report and Transparency International-supported civil society organisation country reports on UNCAC implementation at Fourth Conference of States Parties in Morocco and submission as official UN documents
- 2015: Two Transparency International positions put toward the UNCAC Conference of State Parties: Recommendations for robust action against grand corruption and Submission on civil society participation in anti-corruption efforts
Gillian Dell, Programme Manager
+49 30 3438 20 17
Visit the UNCAC Coalition website to find out more, including information on how to become a member