EU Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from the European Commission. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union


What are the features and respective advantages/disadvantages of the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union (AU) Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and their respective management/implementation mechanisms?


Given the timeframe and the scope of Helpdesk services, this answer should not be considered as a comprehensive in-depth legal assessment of the two conventions.


1. Overview of the main characteristics of the UN and AU conventions
2. A comparison of common features and differences
3. References


Adopted in 2003, The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the Africa Union (AU) Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption share common aims and objectives, covering standards and requirements for preventing, detecting and sanctioning corruption in public and private sectors. Both conventions are important and strategic as they serve different purposes in the region

They both opted for a comprehensive approach to combat corruption, providing for prevention, criminalisation, international cooperation and asset recovery. They both also provide for an implementation mechanism (Transparency International 2006). However, they differ in terms of their geographical coverage, scope, detail and in the mandatory/non-mandatory nature of their provisions. They also differ in the nature and current effectiveness of their review mechanisms. The UNCAC is often referred to as the most comprehensive anti-corruption treaty to date.


Marie Chêne, Transparency International, [email protected]


Gillian Dell, Transparency International




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