Every nation suffers from corruption. It promotes poverty, inequality, and hampers the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Twenty years after countries adopted the only truly global legally binding anti-corruption treaty, the UN Convention against Corruption, corruption still makes headlines, activists are threatened, whistleblowers are persecuted, and corrupt actors hide their stolen assets in safe havens.
The G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG) has helped major economies create standards and exchange good practices in fighting corruption and promoting integrity since 2010. The G20 Summit is being held from September 9 to September 10 this year in India.
In 2023, the ACWG established high-level principles on asset recovery, law enforcement collaboration and information exchange, and anti-corruption body integrity and effectiveness during the Indian G20 Presidency. These subjects are crucial to the worldwide battle against corruption and India’s anti-corruption program.
The acceptance of these objectives is timely since international collaboration and asset recovery need greater development. International cooperation problems show that no matter how well a country is equipped domestically, corruption is almost hard to fight alone and we must cooperate together to fight it.
Law enforcement cooperation and information sharing are crucial for discovering, investigating, prosecuting, and punishing corruption, especially complicated cross-border schemes and networks.
The G20 ACWG’s High-Level Principles on Strengthening Law Enforcement related to International Cooperation and Information Sharing for Combatting Corruption identify the main challenges and opportunities in this field and propose concrete actions and recommendations to overcome them, such as working more closely together through formal and informal communication to exchange vital information for investigating, prosecuting, and sanctioning corrupt acts.
The principles also encourage information exchange through networks like UNODC’s Global Operational Network of Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Authorities, which links 163 authorities from 92 countries.
Asset recovery returns stolen or illegally obtained assets to their rightful owners, frequently countries and individuals robbed of resources by corrupt rulers. Besides justice and accountability, asset recovery deters corruption, restores public confidence, and supports sustainable development.
The ACWG adopted High-Level Principles on Strengthening Asset Recovery Mechanisms for Combating Corruption to help G20 nations and other stakeholders improve their legislative frameworks, institutional capacity, and international collaboration.
The principles and best practises also address legal system discrepancies, capacity issues, and actor coordination issues that impede asset recovery. The principles provide ways to better discover stolen assets by focusing on how to leverage open-source information and resources such property records, company registrations, and beneficial ownership information.
UNODC further appreciates the Indian G20 Presidency’s attention on gender dimensions in anti-corruption measures and the ambition to guarantee women’s full, equal, and meaningful involvement and leadership in fighting corruption. The Women20 engagement group will continue to work to integrate gender concerns into G20 talks and convert them into the G20 Leaders’ Declaration as policies and pledges that promote gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.
In August, G20 anti-corruption ministers met in Kolkata to underscore that nations must now fulfill their promises. G20 countries can work together and with the global community to improve international cooperation and asset recovery, including by closely cooperating and providing technical assistance to countries that struggle to recover stolen assets critically needed for sustainable development.
The tenth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption will be held in Atlanta this December, exactly twenty years after countries adopted the only truly global legally binding anti-corruption treaty. This will be a chance to assess our progress in ensuring corrupt actors cannot conceal their stolen riches in safe havens.
Corruption is a global issue that increases poverty, inequality, and hinders the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Despite the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which is the only legally binding anti-corruption treaty, corruption continues to be a major concern. The G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG) has been working to develop standards and share best practices in fighting corruption and promoting integrity. In 2023, the ACWG established high-level principles on asset recovery, law enforcement collaboration, and anti-corruption body integrity. These principles are crucial for the worldwide battle against corruption and India’s anti-corruption program. The principles aim to improve legislative frameworks, institutional capacity, and international collaboration, while addressing legal system discrepancies, capacity issues, and actor coordination issues. The Women20 engagement group is working to integrate gender concerns into G20 talks and convert them into policies promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.