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UNCAC CoSP: Transparency International urges global action to pick up the pace in the fight against corruption

As the 10th Conference of the States Parties (CoSP) to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) begins, from 11-15 December, Transparency International urges immediate global action to drive significant change in the fight against corruption.

Transparency International calls on State Parties to enhance implementation and follow-up mechanisms, committing to advancing beneficial ownership transparency, improving transparency in political financing, and fostering an enabling environment for anti-corruption fighters. These measures are key to bolster the fight against corruption and help prevent democratic decline.

It is particularly concerning that some States Parties have repeatedly blocked certain civil society organisations from attending the Conference. With the Conference starting today, objections remain in place. Reforms to objection systems are necessary to prevent abuse. Instead of limiting participation, states should enable civil society's work, protect those who face risks, and strengthen civic participation at UNCAC meetings.

Equally concerning are attempts by some State Parties to block any resolutions that could bring about substantial change in the anti-corruption landscape. Despite two decades of UNCAC implementation, little international progress has been made in advancing transparency in political financing, allowing illicit funds to infiltrate politics, notably through the misuse of anonymous companies. State Parties must pick up the pace and urgently close existing legal loopholes, ensure the proper disclosure of expenditures, donations and donors, and address inadequate oversight for the public trust in the democratic process.

Moreover, the global consensus recognising central registers as the most effective means to ensure transparency in company ownership presents an opportunity to build on recent progress. State Parties should commit to new measures for impactful beneficial ownership transparency reforms, including measures promoting access to and use of beneficial ownership data by all stakeholders.

Maira Martini, Interim Head of Policy & Advocacy, said:

“The fact that negotiations happen behind closed doors, puts government officials in a comfortable position to reject bolder commitments and makes it harder for citizens to hold them to account. Transparency is key not only to fight corruption across different areas and sectors, but also in revealing the process behind the negotiation and shaping of global anti-corruption standards.”

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