UN Global Compact
The United Nations Convention Against Corruption at 20: Uniting Leaders for Business Integrity
Since the UN Convention against Corruption was adopted 20 years ago, much has changed for businesses and societies. More and more States have enacted laws on the liability of legal persons with incentives for corporate compliance and criminalized unethical business practices. Bribes that once used to be tax deductible now lead to hefty fines and even the dissolution of companies. The tightening legal framework brought about by the commitment of States to the full implementation of the Convention has created significant momentum for multisectoral cooperation. In 2004, the establishment of Principle Ten of the UN Global Compact began challenging companies to proactively develop strategies and policies that tackle corruption internally, externally and collectively.
Today, rising expectations from consumers, investors, governments and employees have increasingly placed business integrity at the forefront of the private sector’s agenda. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) directives are adopted worldwide, raising the bar for companies to not only be more accountable, ethical, inclusive and transparent, but to also act as responsible corporate citizens, contributing to strengthening public institutions, laws and systems.
Corruption persists despite virtually universal condemnation. It has a cross-cutting effect that impedes the achievement of all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Corruption weakens democracy and the rule of law, while fueling insecurity and the neglect of human rights. For some CEOs, this might seem like a distant problem, but the reality is that sustainable and profitable environments are fundamental to the very viability of their enterprises. When those fundamental factors are in place, business can spur economic innovation and development, generate jobs and income, diminish poverty and expand opportunities.
Furthermore, corruption translates into profound risks for companies, from the distortion of markets and unfair competition, to increased costs, missed business opportunities, as well as legal and reputational risks. Due to the scale and complexity of the issue, neither Governments nor the private sector can tackle corruption alone, in fact, major corruption cases frequently occur at the intersection between the two. As a result, a multisectoral approach is key to truly levelling the playing field by seizing the opportunities and associated benefits of a robust clean ecosystem that is fostered and implemented collectively by a committed group of like-minded stakeholders.
At the Private Sector Forum, participants will:
- Take stock of milestones achieved since the adoption of the UN Convention against Corruption and Principle Ten of the UN Global Compact, and examine their relevance today.
- Shape the global business integrity agenda based on discussions of common challenges, trends, innovative solutions and priorities in the field of governance and anti-corruption.
- Explore how to further leverage the Collective Action approach to drive impact across the 2030 Agenda and strengthen the ecosystem in which companies operate.
- Determine effective measures States can adopt to incentivize compliance, while ensuring misconduct is sanctioned, and how the private sector can contribute to this endeavor.
- Analyze how a company’s commitment to integrity can be best demonstrated and, in turn, assessed by investors, customers and regulators, through ESG reporting and other mechanisms.
The forum will also allow business leaders to make a Call-to-Action to Governments to intensify efforts to tackle corruption effectively and join forces in this endeavor.
The Private Sector Forum brings together a global audience of relevant stakeholders from the business community, the public sector, civil society, academia and international organizations with the collective aim of strengthening business integrity. Participation will be of interest to business leaders, chief compliance and chief legal officers, and other personnel dealing with sustainability, governance and business integrity issues.
Registration is open until November 30th, 2023. More information on the registration process can be found in Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
To learn more, visit https://businessintegrity.unodc.org/bip/en/events/private-sector-forum.html.