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6 November 2015

Factsheet 4

Corruption and the private sector

"The private sector also has a crucial role. Good behaviour is good business. Business groups can convert anti-corruption action into firm support for sustainable development. I call on everyone to help end corruption, and come together for global fairness and equity. The world and its people can no longer afford, nor tolerate, corruption."

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, in his message for International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December 2014

ST.PETERSBURG/VIENNA, 6 November 2015 (UN Information Service) - The private sector has a vital role in preventing and fighting corruption, as it is significantly impacted by it.  Recognizing this, the Fifth Session of the Conference of the State Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption adopted a resolution which, for the first time, was solely focused on the private sector. It urged urge States Parties to raise awareness within the whole private sector on the need to establish and implement anti-corruption ethics and compliance programmes, as well as to enhance dialogue between the public and the private sector on anti-corruption efforts and to take prevention measures.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) seeks to help the private sector adopt anti-corruption policies that are aligned with the Convention and to put in place the checks and balances needed to strengthen transparency and accountability. UNODC, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank jointly published the Anti-Corruption Ethics and Compliance Handbook for Business.

UNODC also works in partnership with the UN Global Compact, a voluntary initiative that supports companies to do business responsibly by aligning their strategies to ten principles. The tenth principle states: 'Business should work against corruption in all its forms including extortion and bribery'. Together they have cooperated on an interactive e-learning tool for the private sector called ' The fight against corruption' which has had nearly 200,000 online users since it was launched in February 2012. The tool has already been translated into 18 languages including Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian with more language versions in progress.

As a member of Global Compact's sub-working group on sport and sport-related sponsorships UNODC has contributed to a guide on "Fighting corruption in sport against sponsorship and hospitality: a practical guide for companies".

In September 2015, UNODC was one of the organizers of the United Nations Private Sector Forum 2015, which focused on the role of the private sector in the implementation of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals.

UNODC has raised awareness of the importance and benefits of ratifying the Convention against Corruption as an observer to the G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group. It contributed to the G-20 Anti-Corruption Implementation Plan as well as to the development of the G-20 principles for promoting integrity in public procurement.

UNODC maintains a strong relationship with the World Economic Forum, especially its Partnering against Corruption Initiative (PACI). In 2014 UNODC and PACI launched a global survey to explore the views of the millennial generation on transparency and corruption as well as to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of corruption on their lives. More than 1,000 people from 102 countries took part in the survey.

UNODC supports and takes part in other private sector initiatives as well. In August 2014, together with brands such as Crocs, Montblanc, Procter and Gamble and Tommy Hilfiger, UNODC hosted a training workshop in Panama on combating piracy, money-laundering and corruption aimed at law enforcement officers, tax officials, custom officials and prosecutors from Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras Nicaragua and Panama. Last year, a regional working group on business integrity in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established due largely to the support of UNODC and the ASEAN Corporate Social Responsibility Network.

In March 2015 UNODC and the International Anti-Corruption Academy supported the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in hosting a conference on fostering public-private dialogue in the fight against corruption. More than 300 global experts from the business community, public institutions and academia gathered in Moscow to identify key challenges in preventing and combating corruption. The results will be presented at the COSP in St. Petersburg.

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Conference website of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC):

Conference website of the Host Country:

For further information for the media go to:

For further information contact:

Martin Nesirky
Spokesperson for the 6 th Session of the Conference of the States Parties
to the UN Convention against Corruption
Telephone: +43-699-1459-5676
Email: martin.nesirky[at]


David Dadge
Spokesperson, UNODC
Phone: (+43 1) 26060-5629
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
Email: david.dadge[at]

Follow @UNODC on Twitter and join the conversation using #NoToCorruption.