Committee Overview

With 189 parties, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption treaty. The Treaty’s original mandate focuses on: “preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange.” The UNCAC was adopted in 2003 and entered into force in 2005. Since then, the Convention has served as a complementary instrument to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). It contains a set of standards, rules, and preventive measures for member states to detect, prevent, and fight corruption effectively. More importantly, the Convention is a pioneer in this area by demanding member states to return assets acquired from corruption to the country from which they were stolen.

Topic A: Corruption and Press Freedom

The press, just like any other institution, is vulnerable to corruption and bribery. Due to the nature of their work, journalists are often threatened by governments, police, businesses, and even organized crime groups. Journalists may also be manipulated to favorably report on certain stories, sometimes with the promise of bribes or other rewards. No matter how this corruption takes place, the outcome is the same. When the freedom of the press is undermined, other human rights will soon follow. UN organizations such as the UNODC have worked tirelessly to support press freedoms. They have urged the UNCAC to investigate and expose any external influences that may compromise their freedoms. Because the UNCAC is a binding protocol, a targeted effort by this body could lead to dramatic, meaningful changes in many countries. It falls to the delegates of this committee to protect journalists’ rights and promote transparent societies.

Topic B: Cybercrime and Corruption

Communication infrastructure is one of the most important components of a modern state. Countries rely on the internet for day-to-day services, recreation, education, security, and more. However, these systems are vulnerable to attacks. In the United States alone, cyber crimes cost over USD 3.3 billion in 2020. As hackers and technology become more advanced, some countries are failing to keep up. New technology like cryptocurrency promises prosperity for many, but new scams are spreading faster than people can be warned about them. There is a greater need than ever for education and security. In this committee, delegates will discuss how to create an international cybersecurity framework. This is an underexplored issue for the UN, so delegates have many possible solutions at their disposal. Whatever solutions delegates think of, it is clear that the time for change is now. UNCAC has a responsibility to protect states and their people alike.