Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability. Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the "start-up costs" required because of 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 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 tool allows small and medium enterprises to identify vulnerabilities and understand corruption risks within the organizations and therefore, helps companies to effectively fight corruption by allocating their resources and focus proportionately to the areas of higher risks. The tool was developed as part of the "Strengthening the private sector capacity to prevent corruption and enhance integrity in the Arab Countries" project funded by the Siemens Integrity Initiative and has already been utilised in trainings in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, and UAE; with expected expansion in usage across the Middle East and North Africa.