Engaging with the Private Sector

Why should civil society organisations build alliances with the private sector? Why should the private sector be interested in the UNCAC? How should civil society engage with the private sector on this issue?

The private sector has an important role to play in promoting UNCAC implementation. Companies and business associations are fundamentally affected by corruption and they can be influential allies for change. By strategically joining forces with business, civil society organisations can bolster their anti-corruption efforts.

UNCAC is addressed to national governments but it contains provisions that have direct implications for private and state-owned enterprises in signatory countries. It is therefore in the interest of companies to:

  • Understand the contents and the benefits of the UNCAC as the international framework for fighting corruption
  • Support advocacy for implementation and effective monitoring of the UNCAC in the countries where they operate
  • Establish preventive measures and collaborative approaches in line with UNCAC provisions

Why the private sector should support UNCAC

A level playing field where corruption has no part in business is the best environment for nurturing a healthy private sector. Many companies have learned the hard way that:

  • Corruption adds to the cost of doing business
  • Once a company starts bribing it sets itself up for continuing extortion
  • Heavy legal and regulatory sanctions may result from such activities
  • Engaging in corruption can seriously damage reputations

Key resources

Civil Society Guide: UNCAC and the Private Sector: Transparency International has produced an information booklet on building partnerships with the private sector on anti-corruption initiatives and advocacy.

It includes a summary of the UNCAC provisions that apply to companies, explains why companies should be interested in supporting the implementing the UNCAC, and provides strategies and advice for civil society organisations that wish to engage with the private sector.

Civil Society Guide: UNCAC and the Private Sector

Watch our training videos: Jermyn Brooks and Soji Apampa address some fundamental questions on private sector engagement in the videos below.

[Video Interview 1: Jermyn Brooks upcoming]
[Video Interview 2: Soji Apampa upcoming]

Jermyn Brooks (UK/Germany) is Chair of Transparency International Business Advisory Board, a member of Transparency International Board of Directors and chairs the 10th Principle Working Group of the United Nations Global Compact.

Soji Apampa is co-founder of the Integrity Organisation, where he co-initiated the Convention on Business Integrity (CBi) to promote ethical business practices, transparency, and fair competition in both the private and the public sectors.

A global civil society network promoting the implementation and monitoring of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)