U.S. Anti-Corruption Efforts

"Corruption tears at the entire fabric of society." – Secretary Kerry, U.K. Anti-Corruption Summit, May 12, 2016

Around the world, corruption saps economic growth, hinders development, destabilizes governments, undermines democracy, and provides openings for dangerous groups like criminals, traffickers, and terrorists. As Secretary Kerry has said, corruption “tears at the entire fabric of society.”

The U.S. Department of State has made anti-corruption a national security priority and works across the globe to prevent graft, promote accountability, and empower reformers. In May 2016, Secretary Kerry participated in the Global Anti-Corruption Summit in London – the highest-level gathering of its kind – to spur momentum for rooting out corruption around the world.

The Department’s global anti-corruption efforts have three elements:

  1. Preventing Corruption & Increasing Accountability: We assist countries committed to tackling corruption by both strengthening democratic institutions and building new support for reform by empowering citizen advocates to hold governments accountable to global standards.
  2. Strengthening Law Enforcement Across Borders: We work with global partners to enhance law enforcement cooperation across borders, improve data sharing between major financial hubs, and develop tools to recover stolen assets.
  3. Tackling the Corruption-Security Nexus: We address corruption in the security arena, exposing how corruption threatens national security and the ability to protect citizens, defeat terrorists, and defend national sovereignty.

In 2016, the Department committed an additional $70 million, pending Congressional approval, for a new “Integrity Initiative” to support local reformers, police, prosecutors, detectives, judges, civil society, and journalists in the fight against corruption. In addition, the United States will co-host the Global Asset Recovery Forum next spring to spur global enforcement efforts. These efforts help countries to meet international agreements, such as the UN Convention Against Corruption, and support the work of bodies like the Open Government Partnership.

By prioritizing anti-corruption, the Department of State seeks to make it even harder for criminals and terrorists to take root and spread, to promote governments that are more stable and accountable, and to level the playing field for U.S. businesses to compete in every region.

Learn more about U.S. efforts to tackle corruption across the globe.

President Obama Comments on Anti-Corruption and Open Government

President Obama speaks to young leaders in Johannesburg, South Africa about the importance of anti-corruption and open government to their futures.

Secretary Kerry’s Remarks at the World Economic Forum

Secretary Kerry speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland about how corruption threatens U.S. national security.

Secretary Kerry Speaks About Good Governance at Oxford Union

Secretary Kerry delivers remarks to the Oxford Union on “21st Century Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next Generation” at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom.