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Intergovernmental bodies

Photo: Vladislav Klapin / Unsplash

There is no shortage of agreements between governments to tackle corruption. What is lacking is their effective and consistent implementation, in ways that benefit people in their daily lives.

International cooperation is essential to fight large-scale, cross-border corruption.

One of the most effective ways to put pressure on powerful actors is to simply shine a light on their (lack of) progress towards their own commitments. To do this, we work with our national partners to produce independent progress reports, and to present the results at public events and in the media.

It’s remarkable how quickly a government’s position can change when it's being publicly assessed on the global stage. See some highlights of our work:

International Monetary Fund

In recent years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has repeatedly stated its ambition to play a leading role in tackling corruption worldwide. In 2018, it launched a new framework for “enhanced” engagement with countries on governance and corruption issues after receiving input from civil society.

The Fund committed to dealing with corruption “systematically, effectively, candidly, and in a manner that respects uniformity of treatment” in its reviews of its member countries - a vital mechanism for identifying and addressing corruption. Since then, we have been publicly monitoring the IMF’s progress towards these goals, making concrete recommendations for improvement, and in particular pushing for real engagement with local civil society experts when the IMF carries out its country assessments.

How the IMF can have real impact on fighting corruption

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Sustainable Development Goals

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The Sustainable Development Goals – also known as SDGs and Global Goals – set ambitious development targets for countries to achieve by 2030.

Goal 16 includes commitments to fight corruption, increase transparency, tackle illicit financial flows and improve access to information. There is a broad consensus that without meaningful action to reduce corruption, progress towards the other goals is likely to be extremely limited.

This is not just an issue for low-income states; rich countries must take action on cross-border corruption, foreign bribery, tax evasion and related illicit financial flows which collectively deprive developing countries of over US$1 trillion per year.

Through independent analysis of the strength of legal and institutional frameworks in up to 17 different policy areas related to SDG 16 in their countries, our chapters generate evidence to put pressure for change on decision-makers, including at the flagship UN events where governments report on their progress towards the SDGs.

No sustainable development without tackling corruption

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Monitoring Corruption & Anti-Corruption in the SDGs

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OECD Convention Against Foreign Bribery

There are many losers and few winners when companies bribe foreign public officials to win lucrative overseas contracts. In 1997, OECD member countries signed a landmark convention to tackle the problem of foreign bribery. Our flagship Exporting Corruption report rates the performance of leading exporters, including 40 of the OECD Convention signatories.

What we have found is that active enforcement is missing. In prioritising profits over principles, governments in most major exporting countries fail to prosecute companies flouting laws criminalising foreign bribery. This means investigating allegations and pressing charges, as well as courts convicting guilty individuals and companies, and imposing substantial sanctions where appropriate.

We also engage directly with the OECD Working Group on Bribery to share our findings and make recommendations via official submissions and in person.

Exporting Corruption Progress Report 2018: Assessment of the Enforcement of the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention

Foreign bribery unchecked in over half of global trade

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Investigating transnational corruption needs transparency

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G20 (Group of 20)

Drawing on an international network with presence in 19 of the G20 members (including our office in Brussels – the European Union is a G20 member), Transparency International is actively advocating for the G20 to show global leadership in tackling corruption.

This includes calling for more stringent enforcement of foreign bribery and anti-money laundering regulations, more transparent reporting from companies and governments, faster return of stolen assets, and making it harder for individuals to enjoy the proceeds of crime and corruption.

Our advocacy work includes:

Targeted media and press work so citizens know what is at stake

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Collaboration with the business sector to broaden our impact

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Directly engaging with the G20 on our policy recommendations

United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)

Transparency International and our partners in the UNCAC Coalition have undertaken a number of joint campaigns and actions over the years to pressure governments to comply with anti-corruption conventions. A particular focus of our efforts are the key meetings where government representatives gather to discuss corruption, including the UNCAC Conference of States Parties (CoSP).

Working together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), we provide training for civil society organisations to learn about the best ways to engage with the official UNCAC review process. Transparency International chapters also prepare UNCAC review reports tracking government performance, and make submissions to relevant consultation processes.

A major milestone will be a Special Session of the UN General Assembly against Corruption, to be held in April 2021.

Open Government Partnership

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Since its creation in 2011, the OGP has become a leading international platform for civil society and local and national public institutions to work together to increase openness and accountability in government.

Every two years countries participating in the OGP develop and implement action plans with concrete commitments in pursuit of more transparent, participatory and accountable governments.

The Transparency International movement has a leadership role on anti-corruption within OGP. Our engagement has the overall goals to:

  • Make recommendations for ambitious anti-corruption commitments at the country level
  • Enable cross-country learning on key anti-corruption sub-themes within the OGP, including by capturing and sharing good practices
  • Coordinate on action from global forums to the national level on anti-corruption

Open Governance Project: Helping citizens engage with governments

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