In 2018, the General Assembly adopted resolution 73/191 entitled “Special session of the General Assembly against corruption”, and decided to convene a special session on combatting corruption and strengthening international cooperation. 

The Special session of the General Assembly against corruption (UNGASS) took place on June 2 - 4, 2021, during which a political declaration solidifying the commitment to fighting corruption was adopted by the Assembly. 

During UNGASS, from June 1 - 4, several virtual side events were organized by governments, UN agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental agencies and UNODC. As part of this year's agenda, the StAR Initiative co-organized and contributed to three side event sessions. 

Click here for more details on all UNGASS side events.

Recovering stolen assets through using non-conviction based forfeiture, June 1

UNGASS calls for countries to adopt a wide range of measures to recover assets, including non-conviction based forfeiture. This event, co-chaired by ICAR and StAR Initiative and based on actual cases, was designed to assist countries in considering introducing such legislation or applying it more effectively where it already exists. The event focused on Chapter 5, “Asset Recovery” of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, and the use of non conviction based methods to recover assets stolen through corruption. The purpose was to show how these methods can be effectively used to recover stolen assets in cases where it may not be possible to obtain a conviction.

A recording of the event can be found here. 

Compensation of victims of an act of corruption, June 1

Corruption is not a victimless crime. UNCAC (art. 35 and 57.3 is a clear example of this consensus). However, victims’ compensation remains a challenge. This event, was co-organized by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Asset Recovery Subcommittee of the International Bar Association (IBA), StAR Initiative and Transparency International. The session aimed to address the current practices in this regard and discussed challenges faced by practitioners (e.g. the identification of victims and the quantification of damages) and possible solutions.

Enlisting gatekeepers in the fight against illicit financial flows, June 2

High-profile investigations have demonstrated how, through the intentional or inadvertent assistance of gatekeepers, illicit funds flow out of developing or middle-income countries into major financial centers far removed from people and places in need of public investment. Parties to the UNGASS, including G20 countries, have, on several occasions, discussed the need to enhance the effective implementation of measures to prevent illicit financial flows, including through private sector intermediates. However, progress will only be possible when regulation and other government-driven initiatives are complemented by value-based and private sector-led approaches that effectively harness the potential and expertise of Gatekeepers themselves.

This event was co-organized by Slovakia, the Italian G20 Presidency, World Economic Forum's Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) and Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-Corruption and the StAR Initiative. It served to launch and showcase an innovative approach to enlisting Gatekeepers from highly regulated to nearly unregulated sectors to abide by the same core set of value-based practices, collectively referred to as the “Unifying Framework”.

A recording of the event can be found here.