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UNODC and corruption

UNODC's Action against Corruption and Economic Crime

Corruption and COVID-19

Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability. Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the "start-up costs" required because of corruption.

Ratification Status

Parties: 187
Signatories: 140

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 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 and giving policy guidance to UNODC to develop and implement anti-corruption activities. The actual implementation of the Convention into domestic law by States parties is evaluated through a unique peer-review process, the Implementation Review Mechanism.

To support States parties' efforts to fully implement the Convention, UNODC delivers technical assistance in various corruption-related thematic areas, such as prevention, education, asset recovery, integrity in the criminal justice system, etc.

Special session of the General Assembly against corruption

2-4 June 2021

Featured resources

The TRACK platform (Tools and Resources for Anti-Corruption Knowledge) provides online access to the UNCAC Legal Library, the ACAD Academic Initiative and other education materials, as well as additional anti-corruption resources.

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The Omnibus software provides for an innovative way to gather information on how States implement the Convention against Corruption through the computer-based self-assessment checklist.

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The Country Profiles Database provides access to the outcome documents of the Implementation Review Mechanism and other country-based information on the implementation of the Convention against Corruption.

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The StAR Initiative is a UNODC/World Bank partnership aimed to prevent the laundering of the proceeds of corruption and facilitate more systematic and timely return of stolen assets.

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