U.S. Efforts To Internationalize Action Against Corruption

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
August 1, 2012


Establishing Shared Standards, Combating Kleptocracy, and Denying Safe Haven

The United States is working with other countries to promote a common vision and shared commitments against corruption.

The global fight against corruption remains a high priority for the United States, linked to the international community’s shared interests in fighting terrorism, illicit trade, and transnational crime; promoting free and open markets; increasing economic growth; and encouraging stable de­mocracies, human rights, and the rule of law.

The United States is proud to support those who advance the fight against corruption— preventing, exposing, and punishing graft. We stand by government, business, and civil society partners who promote good public governance, private sector integrity, strong civil societies and free press, transparency, and effective and independent oversight mechanisms. Through political will and diligence, these efforts strengthen frameworks for accountability, transparency, and integrity and build public trust in government.

The starting point of United States diplomatic efforts is working with other countries to promote the adoption of a common vision and shared commitments against corruption. The United States also encourages effective, concrete action to imple­ment those standards through support to capacity building and law reform programs; mechanisms to review and pro­mote implementation; and regional initiatives designed to promote peer dialogue and the sharing of good practices.

Examples of United States efforts to promote strong anticorruption action include:


The UNCAC has truly globalized the fight against corruption. It includes requirements for mea­sures to prevent corruption, the criminalization of bribery and other corrupt conduct, the first ever roadmap for facilitating recovery of stolen assets, and a framework for international law enforcement cooperation. The United States is a State Party to the Convention and has strongly promoted its implementation, including through the devel­opment of a mechanism to review progress in implementing commitments, cooperation to recover illicitly acquired assets, and support for UNCAC-related capacity building.


The States Parties to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions have taken steps to ensure a level playing field for international business. They are committed to passing laws to prohibit bribery in international business, raising public awareness, committing the nec­essary resources to investigating and pros­ecuting foreign bribery cases, and improving international coordination and cooperation.

The United States is a State Party to the Convention, has actively participated in peer reviews, and promotes implementation and enforcement through the robust peer review process of the OECD Working Group on Bribery. The United States implements the Convention through the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 and is a leader on enforcement.


The United States supports a large number of regional efforts that promote implementation of anticorruption standards through policy dia­logue, regional training, and peer review, including in the Middle East-North Africa region, the Asia-Pacific region, Eastern Europe and Eurasia, Africa, and the Americas. United States leadership promoted the adoption by G-20 Leaders of a comprehensive anticorruption Action Plan. The 2012 United States presidency of the G-8 launched novel Asset Recovery and Open Governance/Anticorruption Action Plans for cooperation with Middle Eastern transition countries. The United States supports efforts to bring high-level and multistakeholder attention to the prob­lem of corruption and to innovative responses, such as the International Anti-Corruption conference and the Open Government Partnership Initiative, which the United States co-founded in 2011 to promote transparency, accountability, and citizen participation. The United States was a founding member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), supports implementation around the world as one of the largest donors to the EITI trust fund, and has announced its intention to implement EITI domestically. The United States is also supporting innovative public-private partnerships to combat corruption and illicit trade.


As part of its Anti-Kleptocracy Strategy, the United States engages other countries to combat high-level corruption, including by applying the principle of Denial of Safe Haven for cor­rupt officials and the fruits of their illicit conduct. The United States regularly denies entry to the United States to corrupt foreign officials and those who enable them. The United States also cooperates with other countries to return the proceeds of corruption, launching the Department of Justice Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative (kleptocracy@usdoj.gov) and publishing the “U.S. Asset Recovery Laws and Procedures” guide in six languages.


In Fiscal Year 2010 alone, the United States provided more than $1.5 billion in technical assistance through the United States Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development related to strengthening good governance and anticorruption. Additional anticorruption assistance was pro­vided through the Millennium Challenge Corpo­ration’s Threshold Country Programs. Through in-country expertise and training in areas ranging from financial management and regulatory reform, to justice sector strengthen­ing, legislative drafting, and public transpar­ency and citizen oversight tools, U.S.-funded programs support the adoption and imple­mentation of laws and policies that promote transparency and accountability consistent with the UNCAC and international best practices -- across the entire government and in particular sectors such as the extractive industries.


The UN Convention against Corruption

Organization for Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials

Regional Initiatives and High-Level Commitments

Anti-Kleptocracy Strategy and Denial of Safe Haven

Public-Private Partnerships to Combat Corruption and Illicit Trade

Anticorruption Reform and Capacity Building

For more information, contact:

U.S. State Department
Bureau of International Narcotics and
Law Enforcement Affairs

Office of Anti-Crime Programs
(August 2012)