Anti-Corruption Summit Agrees on Actions to Drive Out Corruption and Achieve SDG 16
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World leaders and representatives from business and civil society agreed on a package of practical steps to expose and drive out corruption at the ‘Anti-Corruption Summit: London 2016.' The Summit aimed to step up global action to tackle corruption across all walks of life, as part of efforts to end poverty, promote prosperity and defeat terrorism and extremism, in line with commitments under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In the lead up to the conference, over 60 countries met at the Foreign Office in London and agreed to form the Countering Conservation-related Corruption (3C) network, focused on ending the corruption behind wildlife crime.

anti_corruption_summit12 May 2016: World leaders and representatives from business and civil society agreed on a package of practical steps to expose and drive out corruption at the ‘Anti-Corruption Summit: London 2016.’ The Summit aimed to step up global action to tackle corruption across all walks of life, as part of efforts to end poverty, promote prosperity and defeat terrorism and extremism, in line with commitments under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In the lead up to the conference, over 60 countries met at the Foreign Office in London and agreed to form the Countering Conservation-related Corruption (3C) network, focused on ending the corruption behind wildlife crime.

The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, hosted the Summit, which brought together world leaders, business and civil society. The Summit took place on 12 May in London, the UK. The Summit agreed on a Communiqué and a Global Declaration Against Corruption. Japan committed to discuss anti-corruption, including the outcomes of the Summit, during its Group of 7 (G7) Presidency. The UN committed to co-host a follow-up high-level meeting with the UK at the margins of the Ministerial week of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

The Communiqué describes the challenges of corruption, underscoring the importance of tackling it for reducing poverty, protecting the environment, sustaining economic stability and growth, protecting human rights, maintaining security, and addressing serious and organized crime. The Communiqué underscores the need to address corruption to fulfill shared commitments under SDG 16 (Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels), particularly Target 16.5 (Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms). The Communiqué then outlines a common approach to tackling corruption.

In a Global Declaration Against Corruption, participants agreed on three key actions: exposing corruption and ensuring there is nowhere to hide; pursuing and punishing the corrupt and supporting those who have suffered from corruption; and driving out corruption, wherever it exists. On exposing corruption, the Declaration urges, inter alia: increasing the transparency of government budgets, tax information and procurement to deter tax evasion and expose the misuse or theft of taxpayer money; ending the misuse of anonymous companies to hide the proceeds of corruption; driving out those who hide the proceeds of corruption; and making it easier for people to report corruption without fear of reprisal.

On punishing the corrupt, the Declaration calls for: actively enforcing anti-corruption laws and working together to pursue, prosecute and punish the corrupt; tracking stolen assets and returning them to their legitimate owners; and sending a clear message of “no impunity” to the corrupt. On driving out corruption, the Declaration recommends targeting entrenched corruption and linking institutions and professions to foster a shared culture of integrity; using innovation and new technologies to empower citizens to fight corruption; encouraging and supporting international organizations to increase their focus on fighting corruption; and ensuring transparency and governance in extractive industries, the security sector and sport.

Representatives from Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Romania, the Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the UK, and the US delivered statements on how their country intends to tackle corruption. The Commonwealth Secretariat, the European Commission (EC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UN, and the World Bank also made statements outlining concrete actions they will take.

In its statement, the UN commits to scale up its response to corruption, including through efforts by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to accelerate implementation of SDG 16. Following the Summit, UNODC and UNDP committed to, inter alia: coordinate the development of a UN wide action plan that will outline how the UN will better work to support States to implement the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and SDG 16; mainstream anti-corruption in the implementation of all SDGs; support efforts to fight corruption in fragile and conflict-affected settings; and strengthen efforts to ensure integrity in service delivery, including by working with the World Health Organization (WHO), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

In a closing statement, Cameron reflected that the Summit illustrated “the biggest demonstration of the political will to address corruption that we have seen for many, many years,” stressing there is now “far more political will—not just from words, but from actions—that will make a difference.” He pointed to commitments by over 95 countries to implement the new global common reporting standard on tax transparency, which he said has already generated €50 billion in extra tax revenue.

The Summit was preceded by a one-day conference, ‘Tackling Corruption Together,’ which discussed options for enhancing good governance and transparency, supporting sustainable development, preventing corruption, and empowering victims and supporting activists. The Commonwealth Secretariat organized the conference, which took place on 11 May in London, in partnership with Transparency International, Thomson Reuters, ONE, Omidyar Network, the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council and the B Team.

Also prior to the Summit, on 10 May, over 60 countries met at the Foreign Office in London to discuss corruption and wildlife crime. Participants at the meeting agreed to establish the Countering Conservation-related Corruption (3C) network, focused on ending the corruption fueling illegal trade in plants and wildlife. Speakers at the meeting included UK’s Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Rory Stewart; Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretary General John Scanlon; Director of Treaty Affairs of UNODC, John Brandolino; and Kenya’s Senior Deputy Solicitor General Ms. Muthoni Kimani. [Global Declaration Against Corruption] [Communiqué] [Summit Country Statements] [Regional and International Organization Statements] [UK Prime Minister Closing Remarks] [Summit Website] [Tackling Corruption Together Website] [TRAFFIC Press Release]

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