The United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) only entered into force in 2005 and it is still the only international treaty with legally binding anti-corruption instruments. The states that are party to the treaty, which includes 187 of the 193 member states of the UN, meet every two years to discuss the implementation of the treaty and improve cooperation between states on anti-corruption measures. The treaty calls for states to implement legislation against specific forms of corruption, eliminating any safe havels for corruption that illicit actors could take advantage of. A key provision of the treaty is asset recovery—the return of corruptly goods or wealth to the country that it was stolen from. The UNODC has the authority to investigate countries that are not thought to be implementing the treaty accurately or vigorously enough and publishes statistics about rates of corruption around the world.
Topic A: Corruption in Sporting Organizations
Sport is a global phenomenon engaging billions of people and generating annual revenues of more than USD 145 billion. It also plays a key role in the cultural, educational, social, and economic aspects in every country. Over the last decade, the world of sports has gone through a dramatic evolution, with the increasing professionalization and expansion of the sports industry, combined with comprehensive, multifaceted approaches to regulation and governance of sports organizations. State parties and sports organizations alike understand that illicit activities, often involving an international dimension, have accompanied this evolution and pose significant risks. The majority of criminal cases undermining the integrity of sports involve bribes, racketeering, wire fraud, money-laundering, doping, and illegal betting, according to the member states of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. These transgressions highlight the complex nature of cases, and the importance of coordination and cooperation to respond to the risks posed by corruption and transnational organized crime in sport. This Corruption can undermine the potential of sport and its role in contributing to the achievement of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNCAC’s signatories play a key part in the fight against corruption in sports, and addressing cases involving worldwide corporations like the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA). Without their commitment, corruption jeopardizes the achievement of the SDGs and overall international transparency and justice.
Topic B: Corruption and International Tax Evasion
The ability of a state to sufficiently deliver on the needs of its people is fundamentally based on its process of taxation. However, revenue agencies are not immune to corruption. Individuals and businesses in every country around the world seek to avoid paying taxes via corrupt methods. In many countries, taxation laws are written in am ambiguous way that makes tax evasion strategies walk a narrow line between being legal and illegal, which speaks to a global need for tax codes that offer clearer responsibilities without loopholes. Other countries suffer from a lack of resources or manpower to prevent illicit behavior, as tax evaders employ complex strategies to hide wealth from the eyes of government auditors. In the eyes of the UN and the UNCAC, practices that rely on corruption for their facilitation should not be tolerated. The issue of tax evasion has an incredibly strong damaging effect on economic growth in the developing world and will make it extremely difficult to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Without the ability to offer public services funded by tax revenue, governments will be unable to achieve meaningful progress for their people. The UNCAC is uniquely positioned to work to support states to create better laws and to make the international financial system less hospitable to tax evaders.