United Nations Convention against Corruption

The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. The Convention's far-reaching approach and the mandatory character of many of its provisions make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to a global problem. The vast majority of United Nations Member States are parties to the Convention.

UNCAC English Adopted by the UN General Assembly: 31 October 2003, by resolution 58/4
Entry into force:14 December 2005, in accordance with article 68(1)
Signatories: 140
Parties: 182 (as of 11 July 2017)
Ratification/Status Page »
Text of the Convention »

The text of the United Nations Convention against Corruption was negotiated during seven sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Negotiation of the Convention against Corruption, held between 21 January 2002 and 1 October 2003.

The Convention covers five main areas: preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange. The Convention covers many different forms of corruption, such as bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions, and various acts of corruption in the private sector.

Preventive measures

An entire chapter of the Convention is dedicated to prevention, with measures directed at both the public and private sectors. »

Criminalization and law enforcement measures

The Convention requires countries to establish criminal and other offences to cover a wide range of acts of corruption, if these are not already crimes under domestic law. »
International cooperation

Countries are bound by the Convention to render specific forms of mutual legal assistance in gathering and transferring evidence for use in court, to extradite offenders. »
Asset recovery

A highlight of the Convention is the inclusion of a specific chapter on asset recovery, aimed at returning assets to their rightful owners, including countries from which they had been taken illicitly. »

The Conference of the States Parties (COSP) is the main policy-making body of the Convention, supporting States parties and signatories in their implementation of the Convention and giving policy guidance to UNODC to develop and implement anti-corruption activities. The actual implementation of the Convention into domestic law by States parties is evaluated through a unique peer-review process, the Implementation Review Mechanism.

The documents produced by the Implementation Review Mechanism, including all executive summaries of country review reports, as well as national legal texts and information about relevant authorities can be accessed from the Country Profiles Database.Read more»