The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. The Convention’s far-reaching approach and the mandatory character of many of its provisions make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to a global problem. The vast majority of United Nations Member States are parties in the Convention.
The text of the United Nations Convention against Corruption was discussed during seven sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Negotiation of the United Nation Convention against Corruption , held between 21 January 2002 and 1 October 2003.
The Convention covers five main areas: preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange. The Conference of the States Parties (COSP) is the main policy-making body of the Convention, supporting States parties and signatories in their implementation of the Convention.
Preparatory works of the negotiations for creating the United Nations Convention against Corruption
The preparatory works (official records) of the negotiations for the creation of the United Nations Ant- Corruption Convention , adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 58/4 of 31 October 2003. The purpose of the publication is to track the progress of the negotiations in the open-ended intergovernmental Ad Hoc Committee for the Negotiation of a Convention against corruption , which was established by the General Assembly in its resolution 55/61 of 4 December 2000, with terms of reference that were taken note of by the Assembly in its resolution 56/260 of 31 January 2002. It is intended to provide a comprehensive picture of the background to the Convention and, by presenting the evolution of the text, to give the reader an understanding of the issues confronted by the Ad Hoc Committee and the solutions it found. Thus, this publication is intended to provide a better, in-depth understanding of the Convention.
The legislative guide to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption
The legislative guide is the product of a broad participatory process. A group of experts from all geographical regions and representing the various legal systems, as well as observers from relevant United Nations authorities and other international organizations, contributed to the development of the legislative guide.
The objective of the legislative guide is to assist States seeking to ratify and implement the Convention by identifying legislative requirements, issues arising from those requirements and various options available to States as they develop and draft the necessary legislation.
Technical Guide to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption
The objective of the Guide is to lay out a range of policy options and considerations that each State Party needs, or may wish, to take into account in national efforts geared towards implementation of the Convention. The Guide primarily focuses on the provision to anti-corruption practitioners and authorities of relevant technical advice, tools and examples of good practices to make the articles of the Convention operational. In this sense, it complements the Legislative Guide for the Implementation of the Convention which was drafted for use mainly by legislators and policymakers in States preparing themselves for the ratification and implementation of the Convention. Therefore, the two Guides have to be considered jointly.
Implementation Review Mechanism
The Implementation Review Mechanism (IRM) is a peer review process that assists States parties to effectively implement the Convention. In accordance with the terms of reference, each State party is reviewed by two peers – one from the same regional group – which are selected by a drawing of lots at the beginning of each year of the review cycle. The functioning and the performance of the IRM is guided and overseen by the Implementation Review Group, an open-ended intergovernmental group of States parties which is a subsidiary body of the CoSP and was created together with the IRM in Resolution 3/1.
State of Implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption
Criminalization, Law Enforcement and International Cooperation
The study is based on the findings and results emanating from the first cycle reviews of the implementation of the Convention by 156 States parties (2010-2015). It contains a comprehensive analysis of the implementation of chapters III (Criminalization and law enforcement) and IV (International cooperation) of the Convention. More specifically, the study:
- Identifies and describes trends and patterns in the implementation of the above-mentioned chapters, focusing on systematic or, where possible, regional commonalities and variations;
- Highlights successes and good practices on the one hand, and challenges in implementation on the other;
- Provides an overview of the emerging understanding of the Convention and differences in the reviews.
Comprehensive Self-Assessment Checklist on the Implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption
The UNCAC self-assessment checklist is an innovative approach to gather information on the implementation of the Convention. Rather than using paper-based questionnaires, UNODC has developed a user-friendly computer-based application to assess compliance with the Convention.
This application has empowered UNODC to make more effective use of information provided by States parties and signatories. Taking advantage of statistical functions, the Conference of the States Parties is now receiving detailed information on compliance rate and technical assistance needs against selected articles of the Convention.
The Institutional Integrity Initiative
The key aim of the Institutional Integrity Initiative is to examine how the integrity rules and regulations of United Nations Chiefs Executive Board (CEB) members can be aligned with the principles of the United Nations Convention against corruption . In adopting the Initiative, the United Nations sent a clear message that it would strive to abide by the same standards that States had set for themselves. This commitment from the CEB also reflected the expressed wishes of both the UN General Assembly and the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention.