International Policies and Standards
StAR advocates for the strengthening and effective implementation of international standards to detect, deter and recover the proceeds of corruption. A number of important international agreements and commitments to common standards have been made over the past decade.
The challenge going forward is to translate these commitments into action, preventing the laundering of the proceeds of corruption and making progress in asset recovery by getting investigations underway, securing successful prosecutions and judgments, and returning the proceeds of corruption so that they can be used for development and poverty reduction purposes.
Working through global forums such as the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption and its asset recovery working group, the G20, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other multinational bodies, StAR fosters collective global public action and helps countries implement agreed standards.
The 2003 United Nations Convention against Corruption is the first global anti-corruption agreement. It has been ratified by 144 countries and the European Union. The return of the proceeds of corruption is a fundamental principle of the Convention, reflecting a global consensus that countries must take action and work together to facilitate asset recovery.
UNCAC lay outs the mechanisms - such as laws, institutions and procedures - that countries should put in place to help detect, deter and recover the proceeds of corruption. It also provides a framework work for cooperation, outlining the kind of assistance that countries should expect and render when helping other countries recover the proceeds of corruption. The international community has made further commitments to support implementation of the convention and promote asset recovery.
The 2008 Accra Agenda for Action on Aide Effectiveness, approved by both donor and developing countries, states that “donors will take steps in their own countries to combat corruption by individuals or corporations and to track, freeze, and recover illegally acquired assets.”
At the September 2009 Pittsburgh G20 Summit, world leaders expressed their support for asset recovery and efforts to help detect and deter the proceeds of corruption by strengthening international standards.