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UNCAC in a nutshell 2021

A quick guide to the United Nations Convention against Corruption for donor agency and embassy staff

Embassies and bilateral donor staff can use The UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) to engage partner governments around technical support provisions. It can also help facilitate a transparent and inclusive review process – creating momentum for reforms. UNCAC provisions to be aware of include criminalisation and preventive measures, international cooperation and asset recovery, and the Convention’s implementation review mechanism. UNCAC’s weaknesses include inadequate space for civil society, but donors can promote non-governmental stakeholders’ participation in Convention fora and processes.

6 December 2021
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UNCAC in a nutshell 2021

Main points

  • The UNCAC is the only binding global anti-corruption instrument.
  • The ongoing 2nd review cycle evaluates corruption prevention provisions (transparency and accountability) as well as asset recovery. It provides an opportunity to engage partner governments on support and technical assistance and to facilitate the involvement on non-governmental stakeholders in reforms, as well as to lead by example in the domestic review process.
  • A transparent and inclusive review process on the national level is crucial for impact. Since many governments do not publish the full review reports, the Convention's minimum standards are insufficient.
  • The UNCAC provides synergies with other good governance instruments, including the Open Government Partnership, Sustainable Development Goals, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Cite this publication

Huter, M.; Scaturro, R.; (2021) UNCAC in a nutshell 2021. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Guide 2021:1)

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Mathias Huter
Ruggero Scaturro


All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)