Business Against Corruption – A Framework for Action

In the six years since the initial 2005 publication of Business Against Corruption: A Framework For Action, corruption has remained one of the world’s greatest challenges. Now as then, it is a major hindrance to sustainable development, with a disproportionate impact on poor communities, and it is corrosive to the very fabric of society. Its impact on the private sector is considerable and costly: It impedes economic growth, distorts competition and represents serious legal and reputational risks.

While the threat of corruption has not declined in significance since 2005, the world is better equipped to fight it than ever before. So far, 140 countries have become signatories to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, an international anti-corruption instrument adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2003 and entered into force in 2005. Further, the number, scope and severity of national laws intended to fight corruption worldwide have increased substantially, with initial, promising results visible in all regions of the globe. Overall, governments are increasingly proactive in enforcing their anti-corruption laws, often with international effect. Finally, a simple Internet search reveals a multitude of tools and initiatives—many of which did not exist in 2005, or have grown much since—that, together, can assist companies in this endeavour. Despite such noteworthy efforts, business participants of the UN Global Compact consistently indicate that the 10th Principle against Corruption is the most difficult principle to implement, and call for more clarity and guidance on existing tools and resources that would assist companies in implementing anti-corruption measures.

While the core principles and challenges remain unchanged, this document has been revised to reflect the developments of the past six years. Most significantly, the introduction traces recent developments in the field. This document now incorporates both the UN Global Compact Management Model (2010) and the Global Compact-Transparency International Reporting Guidance on the 10th Principle against Corruption (2009) as well as other new tools and active initiatives. Business Against Corruption is a guide to companies preparing themselves to implement the UN Global Compact’s 10th Principle against Corruption and to deal with corruption in any and every aspect of their operations. It provides a road map and tools that will assist in the practical application of policies designed to eliminate corruption.