Who we are
Established in August 2006, the UNCAC Coalition is a global network of over 350 civil society organizations (CSOs) in over 100 countries, committed to promoting the ratification, implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). The Coalition mobilizes civil society action for UNCAC at international, regional and national levels. Our office is registered and based in Vienna, Austria.
The UNCAC’s framework is so comprehensive that it is relevant for a wide range of CSOs. Consequently, the Coalition consists of groups working in the areas of anti-corruption, human rights, labor rights, governance, economic development, environment and private sector accountability, among others.
Our vision is a world of just and open societies with equal opportunities for all, where leaders and public officials act with transparency and integrity, power is not abused for personal gain or to serve special interests, decision-makers can be held accountable, and everyone can speak out without fear of reprisals.
Our mission is to bolster integrity and reduce corruption by supporting and empowering civil society to collectively promote transparency, accountability, and good governance and to advance the implementation and strengthening of legal frameworks resulting from international agreements, in particular the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
Values and principles
We have evolved and thrived on a spirit of equality and voluntary engagement, which is reflected in our core values and principles:
- Transparency and accountability
- Collaboration, inclusiveness, integrity, professionalism, and non-partisanship in our work
- Open exchange of information and ideas, based on mutual respect
- Active promotion of human rights, democracy, human dignity and gender equality.
What we do
The Coalition engages in joint action around common positions on the UNCAC, facilitates the exchange of information among members, and supports civil society efforts to promote the UNCAC. Coalition members share views via mailing lists and thematic working groups.
The Coalition, directly and through its members, advocates for greater transparency and space for civil society participation in all UNCAC fora – the Conference of the States Parties, the meetings of the Implementation Review Group, working groups and the review process on the national level. The Coalition supports CSOs to engage in and contribute to the UNCAC review process, including through ongoing technical support:
- We have supported the production of over 40 parallel reports bringing a civil society perspective to the UNCAC review process.
- Our Transparency Pledge has more than 30 signatories, supported by a Guide to Transparency and Participation on the UNCAC review process which highlights good practices to ensure an inclusive process.
- Our Access to Information campaign has encouraged almost 20 governments to publish information on the UNCAC review process in their country.
- Our UNCAC Review Status Tracker compiles information from outreach and advocacy efforts over more than two years, presenting all available information on 189 States Parties’ UNCAC reviews in one place.
Furthermore, the Coalition seeks to advance discussions on key issues covered by the Convention, including access to information, asset recovery, beneficial company ownership transparency, and the protection of whistleblowers and anti-corruption activists.
Why joint action is important
Effective anti-corruption work demands efforts not only from governments but also from CSOs, the private sector and the greater public. The need for participation of civil society and the importance of access to information are explicitly recognized in Article 13 of the UNCAC.
Without pressure from civil society groups, government anti-corruption commitments may remain mere window dressing. Without coordinated global action by a wide range of civil society groups, the UNCAC may not achieve its promise.
Development of the UNCAC Coalition
The Coalition’s primary campaign objective during in the period from 2006 to 2009 was to secure an effective, transparent and participatory monitoring mechanism for the UNCAC. To this end, members engaged in joint advocacy ahead of and during key intergovernmental meetings. This phase ended with the adoption, in November 2009, of an UNCAC review mechanism that started operation in July 2010.
In late 2015, the Coalition registered as an independent association in Austria. The Coalition’s Secretariat was hosted by the Transparency International Secretariat in Berlin until mid-2018. Since mid-2018, the Coalition has had a permanent representative in Austria. In early 2019, the Coalition for the first time opened an office – we call it: the Vienna Hub – and now has a small permanent team which provides technical and advocacy support to CSOs around the world that use the UNCAC to advance their mission and in particular those that contribute and engage in the UNCAC review mechanism.
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