Putting G20 anti-corruption commitments into practice

7 March 2011, Robert Palmer.

Global Witness and Transparency International have called for swift implementation of the G20’s Anti-Corruption Action Plan. 76 other organisations from around the world, including many UNCAC Coalition members, signed the joint civil society letter sent to the Group of 20 leading economies (G20) on 15 February.

Released last November following the G20 summit in Seoul, the Action Plan sets out a global blueprint for tackling corruption. The Plan covers 11 policy areas, including how to prevent corrupt politicians from accessing the financial system and deny them safe haven in G20 countries, implement the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), return stolen assets and protect whistleblowers. The G20 Working Group has been tasked with turning these broad pledges into concrete actions. It met in Paris on 25-26 February 2011 in the first of three face-to-face meetings planned in the run-up to the French-hosted G20 Summit which will be held in November 2011 in Cannes.

The joint civil society letter makes recommendations on each area covered by the Action Plan, and the key theme is the importance of greater transparency as well as the need for civil society input into the G20 process. Two of the recommendations – registries of the beneficial owners/controllers of companies and trusts; and companies reporting their accounts on a country-by-country basis – would provide investors, citizens and government agencies with crucial information to tackle financial crime and tax dodging.