Business is a prominent stakeholder and an important partner in anti-corruption efforts. This has been repeatedly recognized also by the Conference of the States Parties to UNCAC in its various resolutions:
Resolution 5/4, entitled "Follow-up to the Marrakech declaration on the prevention of corruption"
Resolution 5/6, entitled "Private sector"
Resolution 6/5 entitled "St. Petersburg Statement on promoting public-private partnership in the prevention of and fight against corruption"
The evolving international legal framework and the rapid development of corporate governance rules around the world are prompting companies to focus on anti-corruption measures as an essential component of their efforts to protect their reputation and the interests of their investors and shareholders. Increased costs caused by corrupt payments, unfavourable dependencies between the supply and demand side of a corrupt act (resulting in continuous extortion) or missed business opportunities in distorted markets are further examples of the negative consequences of corruption for companies. Most of all, corruption is illegal and companies face serious consequences for violating the law. Such consequences, going beyond legal penalties, have a strong impact on companies, not the least their reputation.
UNCAC is an innovative anti-corruption instrument as it addresses not only corruption in private-to-public relationships (business relationships with public officials, including state-owned enterprises), but also private-to-private relationships (relationships among companies only). While UNCAC is legally binding only on countries that have ratified or acceded to it, its values and principles are applicable to the widest spectrum of society, including the private sector. Businesses have a legal responsibility to follow the law in the countries in which they operate, which under the UNCAC framework extends to a wide spectrum of corrupt acts - both active and passive, public and private, domestic and international. Businesses also have a responsibility to act as good corporate citizens. This can be supported by an effective anti-corruption programme, including ways to encourage reporting of corruption, prompt disclosure and cooperation with law enforcement agencies when offences occur.
Further information on the private sector can be found here: https://track.unodc.org/private_sector/Pages/home.aspx
To support these efforts, UNODC has developed a large number of tools and resources aimed at promoting public-private dialogue and providing valuable information on UNCAC not only to Member States and anti-corruption authorities, but also to the private sector. By accessing UNODC tools and resources, companies can learn how they can help create healthy business environments and contribute towards levelling the playing field in the countries where they operate.