November 29th, 2006 10:53 EST
United States Joins United Nations Convention Against Corruption
Today, November 29, the United States becomes a party to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). UNCAC is quickly becoming a focal point for international anticorruption action. It is the most comprehensive anticorruption treaty ever developed, and will be the first international anticorruption agreement to be applied on a truly global level.
The United States was a leader in the two-year negotiations for UNCAC and has been actively promoting UNCAC as the cornerstone for regional multilateral anticorruption action, including, most recently, within the G-8, APEC, the UNDP-OECD Middle East Governance for Development Initiative, and the ministerial Global Forum for Fighting Corruption.
Parties to UNCAC commit to criminalize core corrupt conduct, take a wide variety of measures to prevent corruption from happening in the first instance, cooperate internationally on a law enforcement level, and implement measures that will facilitate international cooperation in asset recovery cases.
More than 130 countries participated in negotiations for the Convention, which concluded in October 2003. UNCAC was opened for signature in December 2003 and entered into force on December 14, 2005. As of today, there are 80 parties to UNCAC, including the United States, and 140 signatories. The text of UNCAC can be found at: www.unodc.org/unodc/en/crime_convention_corruption.html
The Conference of States Parties to UNCAC will convene for the first time in Dead Sea, Jordan on December 10-14 to develop a process for reviewing UNCAC implementation and promoting technical assistance to support implementation. The State Department's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) will lead the U.S. delegation.
The United States remains a leader in international anticorruption efforts. In addition to promoting implementation of UNCAC and assisting countries to take effective action against corruption, the United States is working to strengthen international resolve and cooperation to deny safe haven to kleptocrats and other egregiously corrupt public officials. This summer, the President released the National Strategy to Internationalize Efforts to Combat Kleptocracy, and the State Department and other agencies are working with G-8 and other partners to strengthen political will and promote law enforcement action against bribery and public corruption.